This week’s #TradesTalk discussion on Twitter looked at how to encourage more women into the trades.
There were so many interesting comments from tradespeople around the UK, which you can find by looking on Twitter and searching the hashtag #TradesTalk. Here is our round-up of the best bits.
The chat started by looking at what barriers there might be to women working in construction.
A1. I think that depends on who they have around them… some college tutors (@trowel63 @bobnoseda1 ) go above and beyond to encourage support young women getting into trades. But there are a lot more students not so lucky with this. #TradesTalk
— Elizabeth (@Liz_365concrete) April 2, 2019
Evening everyone Evening @TradesTalk
A1. I have two girls and when they looked at trades at school they were both actively dissuaded from going down any trade route
So education and schools have to be an issue
Recognising a trade is a positive role in society #TradesTalk
— Barraboy (@SamArmstead) April 2, 2019
One thing i found is that preconceived ideas were more prevalent on domestic jobs than commercial jobs. On site they dont give a monkeys.Domestic customers think Im the secretary when I answer my phone, or think Im driving my 'husbands' van lol.
— Viva Tiling (@VivaTiling) April 2, 2019
The next question looked at why getting more women into the trades is important.
I enjoy working on site and have never had a problem. If you want the best talent, though, are you seriously telling me that 95% of the country's best plumbers, electricians etc. are male?
— Your Energy Your Way (@Your_Energy_YW) April 2, 2019
A2) I think it is, like in life nothing should be too onesided and create a division ..we can all learn from eachother and ultimately respect eachother more. #TradesTalk
— Gary Bedford (@grbservices) April 2, 2019
A2 Everyone has different skill sets. All areas of industry are better served when talent from all walks of life are allowed to participate. At the height of a skills shortage, the industry should be encouraging everyone to get involved.
— Victoria Preekel (@VictoriaPreekel) April 2, 2019
We then asked if there are schemes out there set up to encourage women into the trades.
A3:Laing O'Rourke, Peter Brett LLP and several other companies but a lot of effort into attracting women into Construction and Built Environment. Plumbing, Hesting Electrical Installation can be challenging as the companies are typically smaller.#TradesTalk
— Doug_Vaillant (@MullingerDoug) April 2, 2019
Probably following tradeswomen on social media has the biggest impact to those looking for an inside look at working in the trades. And I mean the REAL tradeswomen, not Instagram models in a high-vis vest painting gravel with a spanner. #TradesTalk
— Phil Edwards Carpenter (@fillyourp0ckets) April 2, 2019
The topic of workwear designed for women was next up.
This is still an issue for us tradeswomen even the stuff designed for us isn’t practical or fit well! So mostly we wear men’s workwear 😏
— Get Her Trade (@Gethertrade) April 2, 2019
— Becky Bates (@Becky_BBPlumb) April 2, 2019
There were some great bits of advice for aspiring tradeswomen.
Go for it. Also grow a back bone. It's a harsh world in construction
— LadyMagnoliaDecorating (@LadyMagnoliaDec) April 2, 2019
A5. Try and keep positive look for the right role models and the other females in the industry for support and help and realise if you can push yourself to be great at what you do you will have great market place far better than the men in the same industry. #TradesTalk
— James B (@JamesB177) April 2, 2019
Love your trade, work hard, understand thats it's more than just what you learn at college as the experience of your peers is invaluable. You will make mistakes, that happens but learn from them. Stand your ground
— Nicola Dobbie (@Nicola_Dobbie) April 2, 2019
And the final question of the night was about how (and when) to start inspiring the tradeswomen of the future.
Absolutely, or even nursery and then be part of a whole strategy of visibility, role models and support.
We still think there need to be tradeswomen just getting on with it in the soaps
— Women Plumbers (@Stopcocks) April 2, 2019
A6 Teach them at home as kids it’s ok to be whatever you want to be, schools should be the same. My kids play with all there toys, my daughter has tools the same as my son. #tradestalk
— S.N.L Home Repairs (@snlhomerepairs) April 2, 2019
A6: It always should start in schools, but more than that in the society the children are growing up in, so that the current percentages are not seen as a natural state #TradesTalk pic.twitter.com/2gZxuAu4Xi
— Dr Boilers 🐰 (@DrBoilers) April 2, 2019
And introduce kids reading books with male and female workers? Like ol biff and chip..
— Lauren Winter (@Loz_Winter) April 2, 2019
#TradesTalk takes place on Twitter every Tuesday at 8pm, talking about anything and everything to do with working in the building trades. To join in simply follow @TradesTalk.