Most people would still think of a tradie as a bloke rocking high vis workwear and rolling around in his ute. But more and more ‘tradie ladies’ are working to break that stereotype and we for one are here for it.

Lady tradies are changing the industry for the better, but how did we get to here? And why did it take so long?

It’s the old catch-22, where traditionally trades were seen as ‘a man’s job’ so more boys and less girls were attracted to them as careers. Which meant training programmes and school pathways were always aimed towards boys and away from girls. And that meant that the ranks of tradies were continually replenished with guys over girls. Which meant girls stopped being attracted to these professions, because they’d all become a ‘boy’s club’.

While it’s been slower to take hold in the construction industry (where girls are still less than 10%), if you look at other trade professions you can see how the tides are turning. In animal and horticultural trades like arborists, landscapers, zookeepers and more, females have grown to rep almost 25% over the past 20 years. Women are also killing it in the food trades, making up almost a third of the skilled workforce.

As there are more positive changes in workplace culture with less tolerance for workplace bullying and harassment, as well as incentive programmes in schools and communities such as Women’s Sheds, women are becoming more comfortable and confident in pursuing a trade as a career.

What are the benefits?

For women, trades open up an entire range of career options that they hadn’t thought about before. For those with attention to detail, great customer service, creativity, and project management skills, a trade represents an awesome way to capitalise on those traits in a rewarding career.

In addition, research shows that diverse teams deliver better results to customers, so increasing that diversity in any workplace is a positive .

How goodwork can help

Whether you are a qualified lady tradie, a second-year apprentice or anything in between, one of the most important factors that contribute to succeeding in your chosen career is having a strong network of peers. Feeling isolated is not only a crappy feeling; it also negatively affects your prospects of career success.

Goodwork is a tailor-made tradie network full of like-minded tradies of all types who are there to chat, discuss their experiences and find work.

…and see how building a strong network can benefit you and your career.

Author

Jenna works in the Marketing at Growth team here at goodwork. She loves her lattes, yoga, riding her bike and fulfilling all the stereotypes of a northside Melbourne hipster.

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