With National Careers Week upon us (18-24 May), Australia's leading female race car driver and VERTO Ambassador, Emily Duggan, is encouraging all young Australians to follow their dreams and find a career that aligns with their passions.

Emily has navigated her own path within the male-dominated world of race car driving, and a successful path at that. In 2016, she made history as the first female driver to compete in the Super3 V8 Touring Car Series and in 2017 she was a finalist for the prestigious Cosmopolitan Sportswoman of the Year Award. 

Ever since she finished high school, Emily has worked tirelessly to prove the doubters wrong, and leapfrog the hurdles standing in the way of her path to success – a lack of family support, little industry knowledge and no financial backing.

"The only limit there is, is the one you put on yourself. I entered motorsports knowing the odds were against me as a woman, but I wanted to try. I'd rather have tried and failed than have listen to the naysayers who said it couldn’t be done," she said.

Using the hashtag #EverythingIsPossible, Emily seeks to inspire others to follow their passion and it's one of the reasons she has chosen to become a VERTO Ambassador.

"VERTO's commitment to transforming careers and reskilling people is amazing. These services are needed more than ever right now and VERTO has taken action with online courses and continued support through apprenticeships and training to ensure no one is left behind," she said.

While Emily acknowledges that there can be additional obstacles for women who are interested in traditionally male-dominated industries, she says the results of a career you love is worth it.

"For me, my passion was for motorsports and I was determined to make a career out of it. The reason I love motorsport so much is because it is one of very few sports that women and men compete equally for the same title – champion."

Emily believes that all young people should have the opportunity to find a career that matches their skills and passions, particularly during the challenges of COVID-19.

"I hope that my success is empowering for everyone, whether in sport or in business. Roles don’t have genders, and we should all be empowered to aim for the career we choose."

VERTO CEO, Ron Maxwell, said that those seeking a career that inspires them should consider undertaking an apprenticeship.

"Apprenticeships are a great option for school leavers and those looking for a new path to find a career that matches their skills and interests.  With over 500 occupations, from cake decorator to aircraft engineer, there really is something for everyone."

For those who need a little extra help to find the right career,  VERTO has launched CareerGate, a free, online tool that helps school leavers and those looking to transition careers to find a career match and even start looking for vacancies.

"I’m a huge fan of CareerGate and its approach to helping people find their passion in a career," Emily said.  "When I was looking at careers in school, we were given a very large book with every job title in it. It was up to us to find the right fit.

"Having a tool that interacts with you and seeks to know more information about what sparks your interest is a vital part in helping to steer you into the right career. It's certainly something I wish existed when I was at school!" she concluded.

VERTO's CareerGate can be accessed for free at www.careergate.org.au.