She had driven many heavy vehicles before becoming the first female lorry driver at waste management concessionaire SWM Environment Sdn Bhd.

The 35-year-old, who likes driving heavy vehicles, said she drove trailer lorries for about two years at a logistics company.

She added that every job had its challenges and limitations, but she was unperturbed and unfazed by the gender moulds that confine women to certain jobs only.

Norafiqah started working by making deliveries at a logistics company where she drove 4WD vehicles for seven years before she decided to upgrade her skills.

She obtained a Class E licence to drive heavy vehicles and moved on to drive trailer lorries in the logistics industry.

When the movement control order started in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, she was fortunate to be hired by SWM Environment as its first female lorry driver, she said.

“I was first tasked with driving an open tipper lorry to collect bulk waste, agricultural waste and recyclable items from residential areas to be sent to landfills.

“I’m now based at the Iskandar Puteri branch and my job involves driving a water jetting truck to perform public cleansing works.

“Despite my preference for non-conventional jobs in a male-dominated industry, my family has been quite supportive,” she said in an interview.

She added that her elder sister was following in her footsteps and was now working as a delivery person as well.

Norafiqah advised women to pursue their career interests no matter how difficult or different they might be.

“I believe more companies should also encourage and provide job opportunities for individuals regardless of their gender,” she added.

Her colleague Mohd Hazim Azmi, 26, said he was impressed by Norafiqah’s passion and hard work during the time they worked together in the past two years.

“It is quite rare to see a woman in this line of work, but we view each other as equals and get along well,” he added.

SWM Environment corporate general manager Mohd Norlisam Mohd Nordin said the company had two other female employees driving waste collection sidecars in its Kluang branch.

“We practise inclusivity when hiring people for various jobs in the company and this includes people with disabilities.

“To date, we have 267 female employees in Johor involved in public cleaning work, waste collection vehicle drivers and support staff out of our total of 4,145 employees,” he added.

According to