Women have been an integral part of the workforce for the better part of a century, but their efforts have largely been limited to domestic, sales, and administrative work. That is beginning to change, with women slowly beginning to enter the trade industry.
Opportunities are promising in welding, HVAC, and construction, and, as this infographic Tulsa Welding School developed points out, those willing to go against gendered expectations have greater earning potential than those occupying traditionally female-dominated industries. Significant progress has been made, and this is just the beginning of women carving out a place for themselves in the skilled trades.
Women Still Underrepresented in the Skilled Trades
Unfortunately, while women stand to benefit greatly from embracing the trade sector, they are still underrepresented in skilled positions.
While women dominate roles tied to caring, leisure, and administration, the UK’s Office for National Statistics reports that they only accounted for 10 percent of workers in the skilled trades in 2013 (the most recent data available).
The Independent suggests that those who do enter the trades generally avoid large construction projects since they are perceived to be unwelcoming to women.
Female participation in the trades is also of concern in the United States, where a 2014 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that women held just 3.4 percent of installation, repair, and maintenance positions in 2012 and 2013.
Promise for the Future
Current statistics regarding female participation in the trades are discouraging, but women stand to make steady progress. These positions often pay better than traditionally female-dominated ones, and demand is bound to further improve as the UK and US labor markets seek to fill the lingering trade shortage highlighted by The Guardian and the infographic below.
There has never been a better time for women to embrace the abundance of professional opportunities in the trade sector.
Guest blog by Kathy Jackson. Kathy is a freelance writer from Long Beach, CA and enjoys going to the beach for writing inspiration.
If you enjoyed this post why not check out ‘What These 4 Chinese Women Have Taught Me This Women’s History Month’?