Women make up roughly 50 percent of the world’s population, and yet only approximately 10 percent of apprentices in the trades are women. That needs to change.
We were able to attend a recent presentation by the Industry Training Authority called “Women On The Tools: Hiring and training women in the trade industry.” The event brought together a panel of industry professionals to discuss how the industry can benefit from women in the trades, and tips for employers looking to hire women on their job sites.
Some of those tips included connecting women with others in the industry. One of the issues that many women face in the trades is being the only female on the job, and that can be nerve-wracking. Women who are already established in their career in the trades can act as mentors for both men and women who are starting out, offering assistance and different perspectives.
One panelist recounted the story of being the first woman in the company, and how the male employees were told to clean up their work space and remove any photos or items that could be deemed demeaning or sexist. While the boss’ heart was in the right place, the panelists agreed that it was the worst thing he could have done, as the woman was blamed for making everyone else change their behaviour despite the request not coming from her.