Women in the Trades: Growing Careers, Breaking Barriers

Women in the Trades: Growing Careers, Breaking Barriers

by Explore the Trades | May 13, 2024 | Benefits of Choosing a Career in the Trades Blog Women in the Trades | 0 Comments

Around 4% of people working skilled trades jobs in the United States are women. While this number may not sound like a lot, this is substantial progress from what was once a flat 0%. We are likely to see – and excited to see – the number of trades opportunities for women continue to rise in the coming decades.

Are you a woman considering work in the trades? Read on to discover what makes a good tradesperson and to meet the incredible women of plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical trades.

A Good Trades Worker is More Than Just Their Gender

In past decades, a person’s gender would have been enough to exclude them from skilled trades jobs. In today’s world, your skill set takes precedence, just as it should.

If you are a woman considering trades work, reflect on your qualifications that are unrelated to your gender. These may include:

  • “Am I mechanically inclined?”
  • “Can I see myself working in this field day in, day out?”
  • “Am I most comfortable when I’m solving problems?”

Additionally, understanding your motivations and long-term career goals can be helpful when choosing a trades career. Societal expectations can be a huge barrier to fulfilling jobs in the trades for women – not just from outside forces, but personally as well. Tune out the critics and figure out what you really want to do with your life.

There Are Incredible Resources Available for Tradeswomen

While the trades have been a historically male-dominated field, communities of women are rising up and discovering satisfying careers their parents’ generation only dreamed of.

Organizations for tradeswomen provide mentorship and ongoing resources for women looking to further their careers. After all, we’re stronger when we’re together.

There are many great resources that empower, connect and allow women and girls to showcase their talents. These include Women in Plumbing & Piping, Tools & Tiaras and Women in HVACR.

The internet is also a great resource for finding community. Tradeswomen of decades past may have felt more isolated without technology at their fingertips, but dozens of communities have sprung up in recent decades to bring women together. Influencers like Kayleen McCabe and HVACJess encourage girls of all ages to go after their dreams, especially nontraditional ones.

Women Are Shaping the Future

During World War II, millions of young men enlisted in the army, leaving important trades jobs vacant on the home front. Women took up the helm, filling over six million jobs in factories and other nontraditional roles. To this day, Rosie the Riveter remains a cultural icon of women’s empowerment.

Over 75 years later, women continue to shape the future of trades fields. With a competitive salary, a stimulating work environment, immense opportunity for growth and fewer barriers to entry than ever before, it’s no wonder women continue to shatter glass ceilings in the fields of HVAC, electrical and plumbing.

If you are considering a trades career, we encourage you to explore our resources. Together, we’ll continue to change the perception and visibility of women in the trades, one incredible career at a time.