When Karyn Downs was told that being a tradie wasn't a suitable job for a woman, she decided to prove the haters wrong.
The Mount Annan mother-of-two soon picked up an electrical apprenticeship with Endeavour Energy and never looked back.
Today Ms Downs proved that women were more than capable of mixing it with the boys after winning the 2019 South Western Sydney Apprentice of the Year.
The dedicated sparky won the coveted title in a highly competitive field across all apprentice categories from south western Sydney.
"I am thrilled to win this prestigious award," she said.
"I always strive to do everything to the best of my abilities and never back down from a challenge.
"I was motivated to do well after being told working in the electricity supply industry was not a job well suited to a young woman."
Ms Downs encouraged other young people to pick up a trade.
"While my apprenticeship has been challenging, I have received great support from my trainers and colleagues and encouraged to take up every opportunity," she said.
"If you believe in yourself and persevere you can achieve anything.
"This doesn't apply just to women but to all young people when choosing their career."
Endeavour Energy general manager of network services Scott Ryan said Ms Downs had not only excelled in her apprenticeship but had also been an amazing ambassador for women in trades.
"Karyn is an outstanding apprentice as well as a mum who has had two children while training for her trade qualifications," he said.
"This is a remarkable achievement and this win is a great recognition for all her hard work during her apprenticeship."
Ms Downs is now in the running to be named the NSW Apprentice of the Year which will be announced as part of the NSW Training Awards held in September.
"Our industry provides excellent career opportunities for young people," Mr Ryan said.
"Karyn's win highlights the high calibre of our apprentices and the training provided for young people by Endeavour Energy."
Ms Downs is currently based at Narellan Field Service Centre and has recently commenced her trade as a line worker and cable joiner for Endeavour Energy.