Making ‘HERstory’ – Athirah, The First Malaysian Female Underwater Welder
Underwater welding is among the world’s most life-threatening occupation. Welders are required to work in deep and risky environments with minimal visibility. More specifically, their job scope requires them to repair ships, dams, pipelines, and offshore drilling rigs, locks and sub-sea habits.
Yet, Malaysia’s first female underwater welder, Nur Izzati Athirah Mohammad Yusoff, fondly known as Athirah, isn’t terrified by this. In fact, she is drawn to the challenging aspects of her job. Speaking to the News Straits Times, she revealed – “the toughness actually motivates me to improve myself. It has taught me that I can do anything if I believe I can. Gender is not an issue.”
Due to the nature of the job, welders are required to be mentally and physically strong making it a male-dominated career. However, Athirah is up for the challenge despite being small in size.
Growing up in Rantau Panjang, Perak, Nur Izzati was a tough cookie as a little girl. “I was a bit rough and boyish. Instead of playing with dolls, I would play what the other boys in my village played.”
Nur Izzati also shared that her ambition as a little girl was to become a soldier. Her love for underwater welding first blossomed when she was a student at Kolej Vokasional Taiping in Perak. As a matter of fact, she was the only female student in her class.
Yet, she kept her head up and pursued her dreams. Today, Nur Izzati is not only the first female Malaysian underwater welder, but she’s also an assistant instructor at the Weldzone Training Centre in Seri Manjung, Perak.
She assists in providing lessons in commercial diving, underwater welding and underwater cutting and has mostly male students. However, it doesn’t end there. Her inspiring story has also earned her a spot in an original series, ‘I AM WOMAN’ which celebrates Malaysian women in male-dominated fields.
We admire you Athirah for breaking barriers with your perseverance and passion!
Thank you for reminding us that gender or body type are not obstacles to achieve any dream!
*Featured image from News Straits Times