It’s common to picture the average skilled trade worker as a burly man clad in construction gear complete with heavy work boots. However, this persisting stereotype couldn’t be farther from the truth, as more women have cemented their spots in the global skilled labor force.
Working in a skilled trade is undoubtedly a great opportunity for modern-day women, and many successfully build fulfilling careers thanks to their hard work. As one might expect, there are both good and bad sides to life as a woman in the skilled trades. Below are some specific insights into the realities of working as a female in this male-dominated sector.
High Job Stability
Arguably the best part about working in a skilled trade is that there’s never a demand shortage for workers. Even if you’re working on a project-to-project basis, you can always expect to encounter another opportunity after finishing a contract. Due to the general shortage of skilled labor in the industry and employers’ commitment to creating more inclusive workplaces, women in skilled trade earn high and enjoy excellent job stability. Employers typically do all they can to support and retain female employees within the industry.
Women’s job stability in the skilled trade sector mainly means they can afford relatively comfortable lives, catering to personal expenses and other pressing needs with ease. For example, paying for medical supplies like respirators, wheelchairs, nebulizers, ventilators, and other medical equipment for your nan and other seniors in your life is relatively more manageable thanks to your stable job. This reality is generally good news, as funding the costs of medical necessities and other medical care expenses through pharmacies that bill Medicare is typically challenging without a stable job.
Access to opportunities for upward mobility.
It’s common for women to gain more experience in a skilled trade through on-the-job training, allowing them a fast rise to the top. Even as a beginner, there are numerous opportunities to develop new skills to become an expert in your trade or launch your own company as a contractor. You can also quickly enter into management and supervisory roles in many skilled trade occupations as a woman, provided you display the necessary commitment to learning valuable new skills on-the-job.
However, a common path that many women within the industry choose is entrepreneurship. Many decide to start their own companies to offer their valuable expertise to clients after gaining significant experience. New York female entrepreneurs in the construction industry can partner with a quality ready mix concrete supplier in Flushing, NY. Partnering with a great ready mix concrete supplier is a great option to receive quality concrete for your construction needs in the N.Y. area and other parts of the U.S.
Generally, working in the skilled trade comes with frequent feelings of accomplishment due to your work’s tangible and hands-on nature. You know what you’ve precisely accomplished after finishing a job, whether you’ve successfully installed an HVAC or serviced running pipes in the home. Therefore, feelings of accomplishment are common due to always seeing something physical that you’ve completed.
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Multiple research has shown that many women within fields like construction and other skilled trade report experiencing gender harassment. Also, cases of sexual harassment are somewhat rampant. Women also face intimidation due to their gender because these fields are mainly male-dominated, creating a hostile work environment and pushing several tradeswomen out of their jobs. However, many skilled trade companies are genuinely against sexist stereotypes, discrimination, and other forms of harassment that women may face in their workplaces to create healthy work environments.
Inadequate Mentorship Opportunities
Due to the few women in the skilled trade sector, there are limited mentorship opportunities for females in the industry. Many female workers have never worked alongside other women, so they struggle more than their male colleagues to find willing mentors ready to engage them. Even if they do, these mentors may not understand the unique challenges that they face as women in the sector. Therefore, females can miss out on valuable opportunities to learn through observation rather than direct instruction, limiting their ability to make the most out of their training as skilled traders.
Women are increasingly represented in the skilled trade sector, although it remains a mostly male-dominated field. Although job stability, satisfaction, and progression are all positive benefits, unfortunately, many women continue to face hostility combined with a lack of guidance from compassionate mentors. The above-listed points are some realities that women currently face as workers in this industry.