Liberation for the Construction Industry: Building boss demands more jobs for the girls

A CONSTRUCTION industry boss is making a stand against sexism on building sites and wants to get more women to take up a trade.

Brian Berry, the director of external affairs at the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), told Train4TradeSkills that the industry is not “all mud and boots” and highlighted the need to encourage more women to enter the construction industry.

Mr Berry said that women bring a different skill set to construction and that the industry needs to get over its male-dominated stereotype. He believes more teenagers should be encouraged to investigate careers in construction. He said: “It’s all about breaking down the barriers and get rid of the notion that construction is not all mud and boots and specifically for men.”

This follows the news that the NICEIC, who are the regulatory body of the electrical industry, are launching a “Jobs for the Girls” campaign, showing the benefits of a career as an electrician, plumber or builder.

Sexism in the workplace was highlighted by the scandal at Sky Sports, when Andy Gray and Richard Keys made sexist comments about assistant referee Sian Massey and numerous other women.

The “Jobs for the Girls” campaign aims to dispel the myth that trade professions are only a viable option for men.

The research shows that only one in every thousand electrician’s are female. It also showed that women are severely under-represented in most trades.

Paul Collins, from the NICEIC said the campaign wants to remind employers that they cannot discriminate against women, as stated in the Equality Act, which was published by the government in 2010.

Andy Gray and Richard Keys: not part of the NICEIC campaign

Encouraging women to enter the construction industry is one thing, but it could lead to segregation between male and female contractors.

BBC News reported recently that a female-only plumbing company in Northampton has seen a 100% rise in their clientele over the last few months.

Pink Lady Plumbing has flourished as female customers have found to be more comfortable when a woman works in their home instead of a man.

Elecchicks is another prime example of a female-only firm. The London-based electrical firm has been a success and has its own “Look for the lips promise”, which they place on every project to let the customer know that the work has been checked and completed.

But there are fears that a plethora of women-only companies will lead to segregation, where female firms only work in women’s homes, and vice-versa for men.

This should not be encouraged, according to Gary Pratten, an electrician and owner of the My Local Electrician blog. Gary, who lives in Gillingham and has been an electrician for 16 years, believes there is an “old-fashioned” mentality in the industry and would like to see it evolve and more women take up a trade.

“Segregation will eventually lead to alienation. We should think of it as people, not stereotype by gender. If you have the knowledge and have done the work, then you should be treated equally.”

Like this story? Read “14 Fields in Desperate Need of Females” –


About Train4tradeSkills

Train4TradeSkills offer the only trade training skills courses that combine three great ways to learn, through a unique blend of book based theory, practical workshops and virtual reality PC based training, to help you qualify you as a plumber, electrician or gas engineer. No other learning provider offers our unique way to study, with full tutor support, easy to follow, step by step modules. Once you complete one part of the course and return your work for marking, the next stage of the course automatically follows. It’s as easy as that. It’s fun, it’s easy to follow... and it can be fitted around your existing work and family commitments!

Posted on February 1, 2011, in electrician, electrician courses, electrician jobs, plumbing, plumbing courses, plumbing jobs, train4tradeskills and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. As a recruiter for the building industry, I can tell you that the majority of candidates that I see are men, but it is changing. It would be great for the market to open up and think of the female candidates as viable and part of a growing dynamic of change in the industry.

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Liberation for the Construction Industry: Building boss demands more jobs for the girls | Train4TradeSkills Blog --

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