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Why hiring women into the Trades makes good business and social sense

In June this year, the Trade Careers Insights Report was released by CoGo with some real value-adding results. The report was completed by both Women and Employers throughout New Zealand. You can download the full report here.

WOMEN Participant Profiles (as a majority)
– On Geo-location

  • 30% were from Auckland
  • 14% were from Wellington
  • 13% were from Canterbury
  • 9% were from the Waikato
  • 35% represented the remaining regions

– On Age

  • 70% (as a clear majority) were 35 years plus

– On Current Paid Employment Status

  • 12% were Managers
  • 24% were Professionals
  • 11% were Technicians or a Trade worker
  • 24% were Clerical and/or Administrative (noting this is RecruitMum’s biggest talent offering, just saying)

– On Type of Employment 

  • 31% were working 30 hours or less (PTE)
  • 45% were working between 31-40 hours (FTE)

EMPLOYER Participant Profiles (as a majority)
– On Geo-location 

  • 26% were from Auckland
  • 11% were from Wellington
  • 21% were from Canterbury
  • 7% were from Waikato

– On Age 

  • 39% were between 30-39 years old

– On Employer Size 

  • 28% had 2-5 employees
  • 19% had 6-9 employees
  • 15% had 200+ employees

– On Employer Type 

  • 40% were Residential Construction Companies
  • 13% were Commercial Construction Companies

So that tells you a little about who responded…

A simple need that came out of the report, is that women just need a supportive boss, supportive colleagues and supportive workmates – like in any other workplace. Yet a simple result like that clearly tells us we must still have a ways to go in construction in New Zealand to reach this simple reality. Here’s the good stuff to get us moving towards that goal…

The Trades ARE appealing! And our Wāhine are definitely attracted to the industry. Here’s why:

  • You’re outdoors
  • We can push stereotypes (and other stuff on site)
  • We can be role models forging new careers for other women
  • We can refute the perception that tradies have to be strong
  • We can create something tangible
  • It provides stability of employment
  • We have valuable and transferable skills to contribute

However, the report detailed that there are still clear barriers to entry for women. These were: not knowing where to start, duration of training and upskilling (to become qualified), flexible roles to accommodate childcare and discrimination and bullying that simply put, needs to go!

So, why should you hire a woman or a Mum into the Trades? Here’s some worthy reasons – Women are:

  • Lighter on your (very expensive) tools and machinery
  • Better at completing tasks and have better attention to detail
  • More dedicated with something to prove
  • Good at customer service and time management (on top of their trade skills)
  • More curious and bring new ways of doing which are often better
  • Women bring a good attitude to work (as after all, skills can be taught, attitude usually cannot), and finally,
  • Having more women around diversifies the workplace and makes you more of a competitive and attractive business

The report also detailed that as far as recruitment pathways go, women are finding it difficult to access or know how to go about getting into the Trades; while employers (coincidentally) are finding it difficult to recruit women. Kia ora – I’m Clare from RecruitMum – I’m pretty sure I can help with that!

What can we ALL do? Well here’s 4 TOP TIPS the report shared to get you started…

  1. Consider removing “apprenticeship” from the job title and description
  2. Consider older more mature women, as they bring considerable and transferable skills and experience
  3. Train your staff to better support women in the trades – your words matter and will improve workplace culture and social cohesion
  4. Offer flexible working options (RecruitMum can connect you to some people in this area if you need support on the ‘how to’)
  5. Hire through RecruitMum – we’re a NAWIC member! (this was not in the report, but clearly needs adding)

So, what does the future hold?

Answer – A LOT and I for one am excited. RecruitMum has been in development mode for a good part of the year to address some of these results and needs in the industry to better support our construction employers and of course to champion our Mums and Wāhine into exciting, new work environments. If this is a journey you’d get value from joining me on, Get in Touch for an honest, no strings attached conversation or just some good coffee sometime once we’re in Level 2!

Till then, stay safe.
Kia kaha