Women in the Trades
Take a hammer to the industry’s glass ceiling by learning trades skills. Women like you are already enjoying the opportunities that practical skills provide. You’ll earn money while you learn, do hands-on work that keeps you fit and have skills that are in demand by employers.
If you’re thinking of learning a trade, you won’t be alone. More and more women are joining the sector and finding fulfilling, practical work.
Skilled tradespeople are enjoying secure, well-paid work. With the shortage of qualified tradespeople in Aotearoa, there’ll be even more jobs to choose from in future.
Trades projects are usually a team effort, so your skills could lead to a variety of roles. Many tradespeople also become managers or start their own kaipakihi (business).
“I’m committed to a career in the construction industry and want to encourage women to do the same. I love inspiring the next generation.”Sarah Peraua, Carpentry
But don’t I need to be really strong?
Some women worry they’re not strong enough for trades work. But the truth is, women who do physical work can get stronger than guys who sit at a computer all day. Most trainees – regardless of gender – grow their strength and fitness on the job, and the really heavy lifting is usually done by machines.
Besides, being a great tradesperson is more about brains than brawn. Employers are looking for team players with good communication and problem solving skills, along with initiative and great attention to detail.
“I think the trades is for everyone. Women can do it. I really didn’t think I could do this but I’m doing it today and I love it. I know some women think strength is an issue but you can build your strength up on the job.” Kelsie McKenna, Carpentry
Employing women is good for business
Increasing the number of women in the trades industry is one of our biggest priorities. We’re working alongside our partners to recruit more women trainees and ensure trades training is gender inclusive.
Employers in the trades find hiring women as well as men:
- Helps address worker shortages
- Means they choose from a bigger pool of workers, so they get the best people
- Means customers may choose their business because they employ women
“Some people say building’s a man’s thing. But it’s so weird that we’ve made it manly to hammer a nail into a wall. Anyone can do that.” Elizabeth Cruickshank, Carpentry