Women in trades – a perspective from our industry

women in trades painter

Women have always been largely underrepresented in trade industries. We’d certainly like to see more women in trades. 

Trades are for everyone. There should be equal opportunities and a more even number of women working in these areas. 

The CEO of the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), which is leading the project, said it was important to diversify.

We’re highly underrepresented, in the speace that BCITO looks after after about two and a half percent of our trades people are female and it’s a hugely untapped market particularly at a time we have huge skills shortages.

So what are some of the challenges that women face, how has it been in our industry and how do we get more women into trade jobs and industries? 

This is a large and complex topic – but one we value and feel is important to highlight. 

Women in trades – New Zealand 

Did you know that only 2% of electrical apprentices are female? 

In a nationwide survey women only make up 13.5% of all workers in trade industries. 

Diversity in the New Zealand workforce is so important, and we’re proud to be one of the employers that are encouraging progression and women into the industry. 

We want a better representation of women in our workplace because we believe in equality. 

At Rapid Facility Services we value diversity, skills, and an excellent work ethic regardless of gender or race. Having employed females to work in the industrial and commercial cleaning sector we have seen them work on par with our male staff and they have proven that they are more than capable, professional, and bring positive energy to the team. 

Challenges faced by women in trades – the commercial and industrial industry 

There are plenty of challenges faced in the commercial and industrial industries, and for women in trades generally. 

Rapid like to provide opportunities for growth, development, and specialist training for the women in our team. 

BCITO is a New Zealand trade training organisation who led a survey earlier this year about issues faced by women in the trade industry. It also asked questions to women who wanted to get involved in the trade services. The survey was a great opportunity to understand some of the barriers to women in these industries. 

“We think these percentages need to be a lot higher,” says Toby Beagehole, Chief Executive, the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), and Rapid agrees with this statement. 

This initiative is aimed at encouraging women into the industry, and offering support to them through some of the challenges they may face. The Women in Trades Collective (WITC) is an organisation to encourage women into the trade industry and another great organisation helping women into trades.  

“Having more women in the trades will play a big part in meeting the long-term skills shortage in the industry. Unfortunately, for many women, entering the trades is easier said than done.’ says Fiona Kingsford, Chief Executive Competenz. 

Some of the barriers or challenges faced by women entering the trade industry have been a popular topic of conversation. Especially in the current climate where people are losing jobs due to the effects of Covid19. 

An article by Stuff earlier this year looked into some of the challenges for women in trade work.  

How to show your support of women in trades  

You can show your support by actively encouraging and training women for roles within your workplace. Or, you can choose to work with companies that actively promote diversity and inclusion for everyone. 

BCITO has created an image that can be used by companies supporting women in trade work and you can show your support by adding this image to your workplace or website. 

Or if you are a woman wanting to get involved in a trade job? You can read more about where to start here.  

We strive to ensure that our staff, regardless of gender, have equal opportunities to develop and train in all of our services. 

Do you need a specialist cleaning service? 

Our team is diverse, friendly, professional, and highly trained.  Rapid Facility Services offer specialty services within the industrial and commercial cleaning sector. 

Our motto is ‘We will do whatever others can’t or won’t do’.  

As an essential service Rapid Facility Services is available 24/7 to see to all areas of food safety cleaning, industrial cleaning, building maintenance, commercial cleaning, and industrial painting. Call us anytime, we are always ready to help. 

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