Over the last few generations, we've seen a marked increase in not just the number of women who enter the trades, but how successful they are once they've decided to pursue a career within the sector. This is fantastic news for future generations of women in trade, playing a key role in inspiring more people to enter the industry, boosting diversity and filling skills gaps.
Even so, there are still some would-be female apprentices who wonder whether or not the career path is right for them. While the skilled trades are a great option for many Australians, for young women it can be a particularly rewarding and lucrative choice. Let's take a closer look at a few reasons why.
For young women, a career in the trades can be a particularly rewarding choice.
1. There's less of a gender imbalance
While men still dominate most of the traditional trades (including electrical work), there's been significant growth in the number of female trade apprenticeships over the last few years. This can be seen across different sectors, including the electrical industry (where there are increasing numbers of female electrical business owners), as well as related areas such as the construction trades.
Part of the reason for this is a proliferation of training programs that address some of the reasons why women wouldn't have entered the trades in years gone by, with a great example being an electrical pre-apprenticeship course. These training programs focus on the basics of electrical work that young women may have been less likely to learn during high school, providing a firm framework for success and making the jump up to an apprenticeship less significant.
2. There's a market for more electricians
Regardless of gender, there's a very good reason to enter the trades, and the electrical sector in particular. This is the simple fact that Australia needs more talented workers in the industry, meaning the pay is good and there are good opportunities for progression.
In addition, there's a strong demand for female electricians, with the latest research suggesting that more diverse workforces perform better and more efficiently than their homogenous counterparts. This is reflected by a recent study on women in the trades completed by Construction, Economics and Building, which found that diversity – and a better gender balance in particular – typically results in improved productivity.
The best reason for young women to enter the trades is that they succeed within them.
3. Female electricians succeed
Finally, and most importantly, the best reason for young women to enter the trades is that they succeed within them. Speaking to News.com.au, David Vitek, CEO and co-founder of the tradie directory hipages explained that seeing more female tradespeople signing up for the website is a wonderful change, but even better is the feedback from customers.
"They always get great feedback scores on completed jobs. The female tradies we have come across score higher for communication, punctuality and professionalism than the general population of trades. We love seeing women tradies take on work that is traditionally male dominated. For us, we get so excited to see them doing a great job, and getting recognised for it", he said.
For all of these reasons, we're seeing more young women interested in a career within the trades. The next step is to take the plunge and get started on your journey. To find out more about the process – and how we can help – contact the NECA Education & Careers team today.