QVS Direct Launches Campaign To Battle Gender Inequality in Electrical Industry
With the centenary of the success of the Suffragette movement recently been marked, it’s made many of us look at how far different aspects of our lives have come in being more inclusive for women.
While things have certainly improved over the past 100 years, there’s still a long way to go to ensure gender equality across the board, and that includes the electrical industry. In fact, it’s still the case that only one in 1,000 electrical contractors is a woman.
We recently highlighted NICEIC’s Jobs for the Girls campaign, and now electrical wholesaler QVS Direct have launched their own campaign to help battle gender inequality in the electrical industry.
Their Women in the Electrical campaign features a whole host of interviews all designed to encourage more women to train and apply for jobs within the industry reducing gender inequality in the industry. On the microsite, you’ll find interviews with tradeswomen, entrepreneurs and major industry bodies, with advice for women considering a career in the industry, as well as their thoughts on what needs to change to make it more inclusive.
James Ellis of QVS Direct explained why this campaign is important: “Unfortunately, working in the electrical industry is largely still considered a ‘job for the boys’ and it’s about time this changed. By not providing the encouragement and support for women to enter the industry, we’re missing out on the potential of so many skilled electricians, engineers and entrepreneurs.
“This campaign is an attempt to encourage more women to join this fantastic industry, as well as showcase some of the amazing work women are already doing in the electrical sector. We hope this is just the first step in a growing and ongoing campaign.”
One of the most high profile people featured in the campaign is Benita Mehra, President of the Women’s Engineering Society. Here are just a few of her thoughts as to why it’s still such a male dominated industry and how this can change:
“I think one reason is still because parents assume that being an electrician or engineer means you have to get your hands dirty and that might not be something they want for their daughter. This is a mindset that we really must challenge.
“Ultimately, we need to keep having these conversations and debates to break through the perception that an electrician or engineer should be a man and if school failed you, there are other ways of getting on board, we do that through sharing stories, mentoring and encouraging women into the industry.”
In another interview, electrician and business owner Coleen Everitt gave her advice to women who would like to try a career in the trades that either aren’t sure how to do it or are worried about being a woman in a male dominated industry.
She said: “My main piece of advice is just don’t give up. There is gender inequality but there are lots of people out there who would appreciate the value that a female electrician would bring to their company. Many may be comfortable having a man in their house, but they might think ‘oh my Mum needs some work doing, I’d rather have a woman’.
“My advice for when people contact me about apprenticeships is that you’re probably more likely to get an apprenticeship if you go to a big company, and this is mainly because bigger companies have to meet certain diversity criteria, which smaller ones do not.”