Skilled Trades

Women in the Skilled Trades: Overcoming Stereotypes

Skilled TradesJuly 05, 2022

Women are in demand in the skilled trades and this type of career may suit you if you prefer an active job over a desk job. In recent years, a growing shortage in the trades such as HVAC, plumbing, welding, electrical, and mechanics means employers are actively recruiting female employees. 

At All-State Career Schools, you can find programs in two fields: HVAC-R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) and Welding. As HVAC-R becomes more complex with computer-controlled heating, ventilation, and refrigeration, All-State provides the training to prepare students in air-conditioning, control systems, heat pumps and more. 

In the welding program, students gain a foundation in industrial welding techniques, craft skills, and welding mathematics in preparation for a career related to design, production, performance and maintenance of welded products. Welding skills are needed for many types of structures, including bridges, buildings, pressure vessels, and heat exchangers.

As more women enter the trades fields, stereotypes about gender roles and jobs held by women are changing. You may not know this, but historically, the US supported women in the trades during World War II when the men went to war, with 37% of the US workforce made up of women. They worked as electricians, manufacturers, HVAC-R technicians, mechanics, and welders. The modern mindset is changing again to welcome women back into the professions. 

By 2030, it is predicted that the world will face a global talent shortage of more than 85 million people. Demand is only continuing to boom. There’s never been a better time to explore skilled trades. What can you do to counter existing stereotypes?

Embrace History

Despite the booming talent need, women are still underrepresented across skilled trades, making up less than 10% of the workforce. There are challenges, it’s true. Some of the barriers women have faced in the past include lack of information and assumptions they weren’t capable of or interested in the work. But not only have women handled trade jobs in the past, they handled them well. 

Be a Role Model 

If the trades appeal to you, choosing this career path models the choice to other women. One stereotype women face is they’re not strong enough to do heavy labor. But many traditionally female jobs require heavy lifting too, including nursing, childcare, and food service. The skilled trades don’t all involve brawny muscle, of course. Careers encompass jobs such as electrician, mechanic, and plumber which don’t generally demand a lot of brute strength. Bonus, the trades can offer opportunities for advancement into management positions. 

Explore Professional Organizations 

If you’re still not sure, there are professional organizations geared just for women in the trades. They offer professional support and solidarity to women in these fields. Here are a few. 

For women (and men) who enjoy hands-on work, the skilled trades can offer a fulfilling career. If you’re considering a role in HVAC-R or welding, All-State Career School can help you with your next step. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 834-4580 and speak to one of our career counselors.

Tags: KFblog, HVAC jobs