July 20, 2022

Overcoming Gender Bias in Skilled Trades

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from speaking to tradeswomen over the last 18-months it’s that they...

Interview multiple candidates

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Ask for past work examples & results

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Search for the right experience

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Vet candidates & ask for past references before hiring

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Once you hire them, give them access for all tools & resources for success

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If there’s one thing we’ve learned from speaking to many tradeswomen over the last 18-months it’s that they don’t want to be seen as victims. They are trailblazers, confronting gender stereotypes, keen to learn and perfect their respective crafts, and to show the world that being a woman is no barrier to success in trades. The second thing we’ve learned from these interviews is that all of them have faced discrimination and situations that would be nigh on impossible to imagine occurring in most employment settings owing entirely to their gender. 

All tradeswomen told us that they suffer from daily microaggressions, which range from being asked if they are capable of doing the work, to being refused access to properties because owners or tenants don’t think they are qualified. Here are some of the more shocking real world stories from our tradeswomen*

Olivia, the London Plumber:
After completing her NVQ1 in plumbing at 17, Olivia faced rejection from over 100 plumbers and plumbing companies, enduring laughter and even being mistaken for someone calling on behalf of her son. Five years later, she found her break with the help of another female plumber, now thriving in her successful plumbing career.

Stephanie, the London Plumber & Gas Engineer:
Despite securing a job with a plumbing and heating company, Stephanie was abruptly let go towards the end of her gas engineering training, citing concerns about her physical strength. Undeterred, she struck out on her own, building a client base and completing her gas training independently, now installing boilers successfully.

Donna, the Multiskilled Tradeswoman in the West Country:
A trailblazer in the 80s, Donna faced open discrimination and sexual assault on larger building sites. Today, she runs courses to empower other women with trade skills.

Letitia, the Plumber in the Home Counties:
Joining plumbing later in life, Letitia endured bullying for being a woman and daring to be gay throughout her college experience. Despite the challenges, she emerged qualified and secured a full-time plumbing job.

Emma, the Electrician in the Midlands:
Escaping her low-paying job as a care worker, Emma trained as an electrician. She faced unsafe situations in properties with known issues, eventually leaving her job due to a lack of support. Today, Emma is a successful sole trader with a loyal customer base.

* names have been changed to protect identities 

TaskHer: Empowering Women in Skilled Trades

TaskHer stands as a beacon of support for tradeswomen, fostering an environment where gender is celebrated rather than judged. By obtaining customer details and payments upfront, TaskHer minimises the risk of dealing with malicious customers. The platform offers secure opportunities for women looking to run their own businesses, providing an alternative to the challenges faced on construction sites.

TaskHer aims to build a community of tradeswomen, encouraging and supporting the next generation. Soon, the platform will connect aspiring tradeswomen with valuable work experience opportunities provided by experienced and qualified tradeswomen. Join TaskHer in breaking down barriers and empowering women in skilled trades.

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