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HomeFarming NewsHow can more women be encouraged to take up a trade?
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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How can more women be encouraged to take up a trade?

There has been an increase over recent years in trades employers encouraging women to join their teams, a new survey from ICM Enterprises UK LTD suggests.

The business recently spearheaded the survey to “help gain a better understanding of what tradeswomen experience daily”.

When asked how more women can be encouraged to take up a trade, survey participants pointed to financial support, better education, more representation and more support.

Financial Support

Many women believe that there should be more support when it comes to maternity and childcare.

If employers offered more support in these areas, more women may be likely to want to take up work in the trades industry, some survey participants revealed.

38-year-old Karoline, a plasterer, said there should be “better pay for maternity and childcare”.

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Better Education

Some of the women surveyed thought that education may play “a part” in encouraging more women to take up work in the trades industry.

“Offer more courses in colleges and maybe free courses for older women.” – commented Jennifer, a 43-year-old builder.

More Representation

Representation is something that has “progressed significantly” over the years to help make the trades industry “more appealing” to women, the survey found.

A spokesperson said: “By showing more women in advertisements, trades employers are promoting a much more diverse workplace.”

“Previously, most advertisements and promotions for trades work showed just men.”

“However, women are being included much more than they were before. There is still a way to go, though, to make it more equal.”

Lack of Support

Women often feel like there is “a lack” of support in this industry for women. To encourage a more diverse workplace, it is important for employers to “offer support to everyone”, the survey results read.

Debbie, a 36-year-old conservation specialist, explained:

“I think generally the way that the construction industry is arranged means that it os almost impossible for anyone who is not an unencumbered, able-bodied male to be in the right set of circumstances to get a chance.”

The Modern Progression of Female Tradespeople

According to new research by the Chartered Institute of Building, 3 in 5 UK residents would hire a female tradesperson.

Around one-third of the people surveyed said they would prefer to hire a female tradesperson.

Helping to support women in trades was the most popular reason for wanting to hire a female tradesperson.

Some of those surveyed said that they would feel more at ease by having a woman carry out the work in their home.

A spokesperson for ICM Enterprises UK, commented:

“This is very encouraging to hear and one of the many reasons why females should consider taking up work in the trades industry.”

“This is also something that trades employers should be more aware of.”

“Since many people would prefer a female tradesperson, employers should be making extra efforts to reach out to females when conducting their new employee searches.

“In order to attract more women in the trades industry, it’s important to fight discrimination on the worksite and avoid previous stereotypes that can often divide job roles according to genders.”

“Fortunately, this is something that most employers in the trades industry are actively doing.”

The progression can be seen in the number of female tradespeople in the UK.

In the past five years, there has been an increase of almost 400% in the number of young females taking on apprenticeships in engineering and construction.

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