Why Women Should Go Into the Trades
If you’ve ever thought, or heard someone say, that working in the trades “isn’t for women,” it’s important to know that this simply isn’t true. It can even be difficult to ignore this idea, when you see that most professions in the trades right now do employ mostly men.
However, young women who are planning their future should give serious thought to entering a trade, because anyone with the skills and determination can excel at and make a great living for themselves in the trades.
But why are there so few women working in the trades? There are several misconceptions that can contribute to women not entering the trades. Among these misconceptions is the idea that either trades careers are not challenging, or that they require specialized skills that are difficult to acquire. As it happens, both of these ideas are incorrect. Trades careers offer challenging, engaging work with sophisticated equipment, large projects, and diverse groups of people.
For those young women who think that they don’t have the right skills, the fact is that many trades use transferable skills you likely already possess, such as leadership and teamwork. Everything else can be taught, through education and training opportunities such as a college program, internship, or apprenticeship in your chosen trade.
The other common concern of many young women considering the trades is the perception that because a skilled trade is currently made up of mostly men, that this means female workers will be unwelcome or unappreciated.
The truth is that yes, it can be hard to be the only woman in your workplace, and yes, there can be difficulties where you have to “prove yourself.” But by breaking this ground yourself, you will make it easier for the young women who enter the trades after you – and you may even be able to mentor a young woman entering your trade in the future, as well.
It’s important for more women to enter the trades for several reasons, but perhaps the most important is that all jobs, from the trades to the CEO’s office, will benefit from a diverse mix of employees. Women bring unique thoughts, methods, and ideas to the workplace, which enriches everyone in the company, and the trade itself.
So if you’re considering a trades career, do your research. Learn what is involved in the trade, what skills or schooling you will need, and what kind of living you can make from a trades career. Then go for it! Every trade will be the better for having more women involved.