Why a Register of

Tradeswomen?

 

Every time the Register is used a small contribution goes towards the empowerment of vulnerable women or training more tradeswomen.

 

 

Every time the register is used a small contribution goes towards the empowerment of women.

We’re creating a School for Tradeswomen for women to train in DIY and higher levels of skilled trades and a Trust Fund to support women and their families while they train at a higher level.

We’re already planning courses for a Refuge in West Yorkshire and are in conversation with organisations that support women all over UK to make these available more widely.

We actively support tradeswomen to act as role models, inspiring women and children while they’re in their homes. To increase the numbers of tradeswomen, we need more role models who encourage more women to join us in skilled trades.

A group of tradeswomen in 2019 before the Register of Tradeswomen was born

2019 Women Installers Together Conference

Central to our customer service standards is the provision of a safe service that works for the most vulnerable householders.

While we make no assumptions about our customers, our services are designed to work for people who feel vulnerable. We believe if they work for this group, they work for everyone.

Our verification process is strict and thorough, and our systems (kindly donated by Commusoft) allow us to track exactly where tradeswomen are, giving them and householders an additional layer of safety.

We’re also working with organisations that support survivors of domestic abuse to ensure our processes and training meet their requirements.

We believe these high standards benefit all householders and all tradespeople.

It’s estimated that only 1% of people working in skilled trades are women. Painters and decorators are slightly higher than this, bricklayers and roofers considerably lower. But in a recent survey 38% of women said they’d go into trades if they had their time again and over 30% of householders said they’d prefer a tradeswoman given the option – another 30% said they’d be ‘happy to choose’ a tradeswoman if one was available locally.

We’re already planning a three stage training scheme from basic DIY skills to potential self-employment for women leaving a refuge in West Yorkshire. This is the start of the development of a School for Tradeswomen.

Finally, for women who’re financially responsible for their families, funding training is an issue, whether that’s to pay for a creche or to help them cover course fees. We’ll be setting up a Trust Fund to help with these additional costs.

We’ve been developing this, talking to householders, tradeswomen, women who’d love to be tradeswomen and survivors for many years and feel very optimistic that this Register, School and Fund will be a huge success.

We’re facing a massive skills gap in trades. There are women waiting to fill that gap, and customers waiting to use them.

We believe that women want to know they’re supporting and contributing to empowering other women through helping them into worthwhile and well-paid careers.

We believe that many householders want to enable women to achieve independence and a life where they have control.

We believe that women feel good about themselves when they know they’re helping and supporting other women.

And our mission goes so much further than simply supplying tradeswomen – essential though that is.

In our discussions with many tradeswomen over 30 years we’ve discovered that it’s common for women to ‘fix themselves by fixing stuff’ and decided to create a clear route, with a place to begin for women who’d been discouraged from considering it and a supportive community rather than the isolation tradeswomen often encounter.

That’s why it’s so essential to count tradeswomen; to know how many are attempting to enter trades, how many succeed, whether they stay and why.

Every industry is improved by diversity in it’s workforce and in home improvement and maintenance where 80% of decision makers are women, it makes sense for women to be well represented.

We know from what householders have been telling us for 30 years that they appreciate the approach women bring. This goes for all householders.

Men as well as women often choose tradeswomen, wealthy (sometimes famous) people as well as those who’re looking for someone they can trust to respect their tight budget often tell us they receive this from tradeswomen and definitely, householders who’ve had a bad experiences often come to us looking for a positive alternative.

Why the focus on women, not girls?

Very few girls are encouraged to go into trades at school. We’re still hearing stories of girls being laughed at by friends if they say they want to come into skilled trades, and careers advisors telling girls they’re ‘too good’ to come into trades.

Added to the lack of visible role models of tradeswomen, due to the low numbers, and a lack of tradeswomen on TV – let’s face it, the last one anyone saw was Kylie Minogue as a mechanic on Neighbours, back in 1988!

And that even now, not all colleges welcome girls with open arms…

Sometimes girls can get put off. We therefore see quite a substantial number of those girls returning to train at an older age than is traditional.

Sometimes they have more children that will fit in the one creche place that is the usual allotment for example.

This contributes to the general low numbers going into trades in UK right now, causing the massive skills gap we’re facing.

We feel it’s unfair to expect girls with little or no experience of the world of work to be expected to change the culture of the industry. It’s adult women who’re approaching the Register right now, so we’re focussing on them, creating role models and then we’ll focus on increasing the number of girls considering trades, if our other actions haven’t increased their numbers anyway.

The value of this register and the difference it will make to women’s lives cannot be understated and Hattie works tirelessly to support women and make their lives better in any way she can. It is not often that people like Hattie come along and her determination, hard work and dedication to the cause is testament to her and her strength of character. The number of women she has helped and will go onto help, directly and indirectly, is vast and to be involved in a small part with her and her vision is an honour.

Jamie McKagan: Warrior Women

Supporters

Thanks to our supporters for making this possible.