4 Reasons Why Women Should Consider The Skilled Trades

Why women should consider the skilled tradesThere is often a stereotypical image associated with trades’ workers that involves a male in a hardhat. This stereotype prevails in part because skilled female tradespeople make up only about 5% of employed tradespeople, according to Talent Egg. Despite this, there are many reasons why women with an interest in the skilled trades and hands-on work should still pursue a career in this industry.

Here are the top 4 reasons why women should consider a career in the skilled trades:

1. Many traditionally male professions are increasing in popularity with female workers.

Since the mid 20th century, society has seen an increase in the types of jobs women are taking on. However, the last couple of decades show that there still remain male dominated and female dominated professions. But some jobs that have been traditionally male dominated are now leaning the other way. For example, Forbes writes that in the accounting field, women make up more than 60% of three categories of positions: accountants and auditors, tax preparers, and tax examiners and collectors. With this influx of women into new positions, we can hope that this will further increase their presence in other professions, included skilled trade jobs, which would have seemed out of reach in the past.

2. Women are being offered equal compensation for skilled trades today as opposed to the past.

Equal pay for equal work has been and continues to be a struggle women face. Although the Equal Pay Act of 1963 sought to suppress wage disparity among the sexes, wage discrimination has continued in many sectors into the modern day. According to RSI, while women make up on 9% of all construction workers, they make a little over the median wage for all employed in construction. As other industries are following suit, women are seeing more and more doors of opportunity opening for them.

3. Broadening the employment mindset between male/female professions is a good example to younger women and girls.

Even when young people do not realize it, they are absorbing the examples they see around them, and these example shape their ideas about society and socially acceptable choices. This is true in gender roles in the workplace as well. Even though research supports the idea that there are no significant differences in male/female ability in any given field, perceived competence in individuals begins to develop at age five in most children, according to The Huffington Post Girls in STEM Blog. This perceived competence will follow a female through her entire life and it is based upon beliefs of whether or not a job, talent or profession is appropriate for a girl. So by being a part of the skilled trades workforce, you’re showing other girls that this is an acceptable career path for them, should they choose it.

4. Women talented in a skilled trade should feel free to pursue that as a career despite social stigma.

If women hold only 5% of the skilled trades jobs, there are likely many talented women with this skill or aptitude who do not pursue that career path because of lack of confidence. Ever expanding social ideas concerning male/female gender roles in the workplace are opening new doors for women, but it is confidence that will take women the rest of the way to pursue careers that they desire.

 

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