Increase Women in the Trades through Education
The path to success considers trade, carving space for women on the rise, including the plumbing industry.
I was never supposed to have a life in the trades. I focused my life on going to college and being a teacher. During those days, the pathway to success was written in stone. To have a great life, you had to go to college and find the right career. Fast forward, and I am the co-owner of a successful plumbing company alongside my husband.
The truth is, the path to success doesn’t have to be predicated on going to a four-year college or university. For women, and anyone in general, there are fruitful career opportunities in plumbing or other trade industries. The main barrier to entry is the lack of knowledge about the industry. In my role as co-owner of High 5 Plumbing, the biggest issue I have seen is the lack of conversation about what kind of life the trades can provide for individuals.
While still a male-dominated industry, the limited number of women in plumbing can be attributed to the lack of education about the field. Now is the best time to begin a career in the trades. With a shortage of plumbers, the sky is the limit for anyone interested in a great career. Companies just have to take the right steps to recruit employees.
For women, and anyone in general, there are fruitful career opportunities in plumbing or other trade industries.
The Importance of Recruiting
There aren’t very many women plumbers in the industry. Over the course of 10 years, we’ve only had three women interview for the job. The reason this issue exists is two-fold.
The first reason is the lack of importance that tends to be placed on the recruiter position. Active recruiting is an important aspect of growing a business regardless of the gender of the employee. One of the reason’s why High 5 Plumbing has seen substantial growth over the past year, is our dedication to getting out and recruiting. Having a person who goes out into the community and champions your company’s vision, culture, and team is priceless.
Recruiting Women to the Trades
The other half of the equation for why the number of women in plumbing is limited, is the lack of information about the various jobs in the industry.
While many plumbing jobs are physically taxing, there are more career paths that don’t require unclogging toilets. For example, some plumbers perform water quality tests by taking samples of water and explaining to homeowners the state of their water. There are also various sales positions that allow you to sell services without the need to be an installer. The career possibilities are vast.
But remember, it is important to educate potential women employees about the various positions before you can recruit them to your business. This requires a continued push across multiple platforms to showcase the benefits of working in the trades.
Having a person who goes out into the community and champions your company’s vision, culture, and team is priceless.
The Right Culture
From my experience, culture-fit plays a major factor when it comes to recruiting women. That includes team atmosphere, role within the company, communication with management, etc. In addition, growth potential within the company helps increase the number of potential employees who submit applications.
So, if you are a company in the trades that is looking to increase female applications, you need to place a heavy emphasis on company culture and growth potential.
Leveling the Playing Field
A career in the trades isn’t just for men; but there needs to be a better job at communicating the benefits of working in the trades to enhance the female presence. Starting at the high school level, more emphasis needs to be placed on the trades. Eliminating the thought that a four-year degree is the only viable way to success is a must. Educating female students, and male students, on the advantages of working in the trades will go a long way in securing the future for many bright individuals. As a woman in the trades, I love my job and would love to see a female boom in the years to come.