Ipak Giru is the first local woman to hold the position as a Center Manager in the history of PNG Power.
She looks after operations at Yonki Township, which is the core of Ramu Grid.
Ipak started her career with ELCOM (PNG Power) in November 1993 as a clerk typist.
“My educational qualification did not bring me this far but it was perseverance and hard work. I see every challenges as stepping stone to success and I thank PNG Power for supporting women fairly,” she says.
Ipak is from Manus and she grew up in Goroka. After graduating from Goroka Technical College in 1992, she worked as a receptionist with an accounting firm, and later for Goroka Secondary School.
She met her partner who was an ELCOM employee, and move to Yonki with him.
In November 1993, she began her career pathway as a clerk typist for community relations group. She held on to that position for 10 years “without raising any complains”.
“I loved doing what I was told to do and always accomplished my tasks at the end of each day,” she says.
As time passed, she assisted with administration duties and property management at Yonki.
In 2003, when the Yonki administration officer left, Ipak took over the responsibility of looking after the township, properties, accommodation and the cleanliness of Yonki Town until 2014.
In April 2014, her superiors promoted her to become the facilities team coordinator.
On the following year when Mr Pulman Tirang (former manager) retired, Ipak was appointed to act in the position of center manager, Yonki.
In September 2016, after acting on the position for a year, she was appointed as the Center Manager, Yonki.
“My journey was not as easy as it seems. I encountered many challenges along the way. Yet that did not stop me from performing my daily assignments and tasks. Every new position had its own challenges but I maintained my integrity and performed to the best of my abilities,” she recalls.
Ipak says she understands the difficulties and challenges faced by women in the workforce today, and she wants to be a good role model to young women who are working as receptionists, clerks, admin officers in industries dominated by men.
“I believe I am one of the local women taking the lead for women in PNG especially within PNG Power. My encouragement to young girls is not to look down or think less of yourselves and your jobs. If I can make it happen, you can too,” she says.
“My greatest work challenge was handling landowner issues at Yonki. Some landowners didn’t listen to me probably because I was a woman,” she says.
Even if her team was attacked several times, she did not let this challenge drag her down.
“I now receive the respect from the people of Yonki and my employees. And I want to thank by good brothers Pulman Tirang, Peter Joseph and the staff based at Yonki and Ramu 1 for the guidance and support all throughout these years,” she says.
As the center manager, she looks after plant & fleet, building and maintenance, health facilities, customer services, administration and the distribution team.
“I am happy that we have Carolyn Blacklock and she must be an inspiration for every women at PNG Power and around the country,” Ipak says.
“Sometimes people tend to give up easily because they see there is no pathway for them in their employment. It takes time, it takes hard work and it takes perseverance to make it to the top. Nothing comes easy, you cannot be given things on a golden plate, you have to work hard to get it,” she said.