October 26, 2018
Females working in the electrical trade may find some setbacks because of their gender in the trades industry. This industry has been dominated by men for so long but is finally at its turning point. Slowly, women are beginning to enter this workforce as never before. The profession of a licensed, skilled trade professional is one of the last surviving opportunities of a financially secure middle-class life, and as more skilled trade professionals approach retirement, this traditionally male-dominated field will require the entrance of more females. The trades industry is currently going through a labor shortage. Having this be the case, this should open the door for many women. Though it is sad that this it was it has taken to get to this point, there is finally a chance for women to shine brightly as females working in the electrical trade.
Unfortunately, there is still a gender gap in technology and white-collar employment. There is also little attention paid to recruiting women to become licensed skilled tradespeople. Rosie the Riveter, the iconic symbol of feminism, women’s rights, and a woman’s ability to work alongside men in the workforce was modeled after women who worked in factories during World War II to fill positions vacated by men serving in the military. “Rosie” worked blue-collar jobs that paid well and did not require a college degree- she was a skilled tradesperson.
There are also some situations that a female electrician may want to be treated differently. Female electricians (and smaller males) will be asked to do work in smaller/tighter areas. This is because a larger electrician cannot perform the job.
Gender Stereotyping. This is a subject that is coming to light more and more every day. From the school, work, and even politics- it is something women can’t avoid. This is a major problem, especially if it stands in the way of women creating a successful career for themselves. It’s actually a big setback, why can’t women do the same thing a man can? Maybe becoming a female electrician was never hear of because they didn’t promote this career choice to females at the high school job fairs. Chicago women in Trades Executive Director, Jayne Vellinga, said something very similar to this. She stated that the reason for such few women in the trades is because it was not introduced to them at a young age. The ideas of this career were never an idea to young girls growing up. She even goes on to say that she believes in gender stereotyping and that this is a huge factor leaning in on the reason why females do not know about this career choice. Vellinga said, “it’s just not presented as an option to women, either as students or adult students looking for work.” So how do we change this? How do we introduce becoming a female electrician as a career choice to young women?
There are females working in the electrical trade, they are just a little challenging to find. There are some shocking numbers that come up when researching women in the trades industry. Females make up 8.9% of the trades industry. This number has not increased since World War II, when females made up 10% of the trade industry. This number is expected to grow in the next few years according to a recent study by Career School Now. The time is now for women to get out there and join the trades. With the right education and drive these jobs could be very fulfilling and life time careers for women. The goal is to start educating young women out of high school about these exciting opportunities with hopes to raise the awareness that trades are an exciting career path not just for men, but for women as well!
Now here are some even scarier numbers. Female electricians make up 1% of the electrical industry according to the 2009 Census data report. That’s right, 1. With there being 874,000 electricians in the industry, there are only 8,740 women. It’s time to make a change.
Julia started out back in 2014 working as an Electrician. Before she made the switch, Julia was working towards her liberal arts degree but decided this was not a passion of hers. Her inspiration for the career change came from her love of making old things work again. Julia worked at a bicycle shop during college when she fell in love with working with her hands. Julia threw back ideas of what she thought she could do and figured the trades were something she knew needed skilled people. She decided on electrical work because that would be a challenge and something not many people, or females were doing. What does Julia love the most about her job? Troubleshooting. Julia enjoys getting to the root of any problem and she has found this by becoming an electrician.
Veronica Rose is a well-known female in the electrical trade. She began her work in the 1970’s. Rose grew her empire over the years and has found much success. Today, Rose is the owner of Aurora Electric in New Jersey. Her company is well established and she has over 20 employees. She has even employed 4 female electricians. Rose says, “We are underutilizing 51% of our population. – We need to start targeting the high schools and educating young women and letting them know that construction is an occupation that is available to them.” Rose knows the importance of reaching out to our youth, especially young females, and introducing the trades at a young age.
Becoming a female electrician is the same as a man would become an electrician. It all starts with an apprenticeship. Electrical work can be very competitive! But once you get your apprenticeship, you are that much closer! Here are some necessary skills/degrees you need to obtain before applying for an apprenticeship:
If you qualify for the above 4 requirements, then you can start your interview process for your apprenticeship. For more information on becoming a female electrician click here!
PHCEid.org is an advocate for the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, and Electrical contractor to properly identify their licensed status for public awareness. Professional Contractors have the license or certification to work in homes and businesses. Without the proper certification and licensing to become a skilled trades professional, it compromises the integrity the trade industry. The contractors listed on the PHCEid.org website are licensed or certified according to the codes and laws set forth by each governing state and/or entity. Licensed Contractors work in compliance with local and state codes set forth by their governing trade industry board. Get more information at PHCEid.org or call 844-954-2367 today!
Your gender does not define what you are good at. You do.