Why more women plumbers are needed
Women have made dramatic strides in history to become heard and have a voice, such as Emmeline Pankhurst who campaigned to overturn the right of women to vote in 1918. Or Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist who advocated for the right to education for both women and children, becoming the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite much adversity, including age, these women triumphed, were able to be recognised and change the course of history for better civil rights and gender equality. Making society question the lack of inclusivity, and how can we challenge to improve. This continues today as women are beginning to shed gender stereotypes. All sexes should now pursue a job within any sector, without persecution.
There is a need for more skilled tradespeople including plumbers. In recent years, interest in the plumbing trade has decreased with the number of 18-24-year-olds reportedly being at 3% currently attempting to search for a job within this sector, according to YouGov Omnibus research.
Why is this so important?
Now is a great time to encourage both younger male and female generations towards a career in plumbing, to ensure that this sector can grow as demand increases! Whilst only a small number of women are currently involved in the construction industry, currently standing at 14% – there has been a 366% rise in the number of women pursuing apprenticeships according to a study by Go Compare from 2019/2020. Indicating that there is a degree of shifting attitude and acceptance.
According to Hattie Hassan, a British Plumber and CEO of Stopcocks, “When I was at school, no-one encouraged me to think of taking up a trade and I was not allowed to study metalwork and engineering which was my dream at the time… I encourage any girl who wants to go into plumbing or any trade career, to go for it!” This inspirational individual and many others like her are examples that will help to advance the perspective of both males and females who may both feel that they cannot be accepted into plumbing.
After all, Generation Z is becoming more aware and supportive of companies that encourage diversity in their workforce, in fact, 76% considering that this is an important topic for brands to consider. So not only will more women in the trade benefit companies in finding employees but also improving the brand image and inspiring the next generation.
How can more women be encouraged to take up plumbing?
Social media could play a key role in educating and promoting plumbing as a career for women. A study by Statista suggested that TikTok is more popular with the female demographic. Famous TikTok and Instagram influencers such as theP00LGuy who currently has 189k followers might be the key to raising awareness.
What’s in it for you?
A lot can be gained from becoming a plumber:
- According to a recent study by Water Safe, 59% of consumers would feel positive about more women taking up a trade role
- Learn the trade – there will always be a demand for your skills
- Despite the effects of the pandemic, there is still a need for plumbers –
A Vanarama survey found that there is a high demand for plumbers yet a 23% shortage in the number of plumbers in the UK due to the effects of lockdown, which will mean there is still a backlog of people wanting plumbers so the demand is still present
- Become part of the growing number of women that are in the plumbing industry
- Earn while you learn
- Interact with new tech and innovations – Wavin offers a variety of new technology and plumbing applications
Where to look?
There are various places that can offer bursaries and apprenticeships for young women and the younger generation the chance to get into the plumbing industry. An entry-level NVQ Level 2 is generally required to enter the industry, with only 12-18 months, so why not join! According to Find Apprenticeships, it is possible to earn anywhere from £10,000 – £20,000 which will go up as you progress. There is also an option available to female plumbers exclusively, the Stopcocks plumbing training scheme. This is the only organisation that offers this and pushes women to achieve their potential!