‘Tackling gender inequality must be a trade priority’, says NICEIC CEO Emma Clancy.
As the nation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the female vote Emma says that despite a certain level of progress in other industries, gender disparity still remains a prevalent issue in the electrical and wider construction sectors.
“February 6th 1918 was an important milestone in our history but it only marked the start of a journey that we are still on today to bring about equality,” commented Emma.
“The unfortunate reality is that, despite great progress being made in breaking down gender barriers in other areas of life, there is still a huge job to do in the construction industry.
“In the electrical industry alone women only make up around 1% of the total workforce. As an industry we need to broaden our approach to recruitment and the image we portray.”
NICEIC continues to promote opportunities for women in the electrical industry through its Jobs for the Girls campaign.
The campaign has helped bring greater focus to the issue and while perceptions of the construction industry are changing Emma believes there are still more steps that can be taken to create a more inclusive environment.
“There are some great success stories out there of women who have made a great career in the electrical industry, “added Emma.
“They are real trailblazers and evidence that the industry is changing. However, the numbers are still painfully low and many young women are still pushed into careers such as hairdressing or childcare as it is the perceived norm.
“We need to change the perception of the industry as one traditionally for boys and make it more inclusive and appealing to women. Young females need see it as a viable, exciting career option from the very beginning.
“What we have found in particular is that women who do become electricians often do so later on in life – when in fact they could have started out much sooner if they had the appropriate information or encouragement.”
For more information about NICEIC and its Jobs for the Girls campaign go to www.niceic.com/jobsforthegirls