Female Tradies Making their Mark in Australia

A hammer-wielding woman emblem with a pink outline, along with the words “Female Tradie” in bold letters is splashed throughout the side of a black van at Sydney’s Marrickville. Behind the wheel is Penny Petridis, a carpenter, metal worker and builder that began her renovation and construction maintenance business, rightly titled Female Tradie, five years ago.

Petridis is a part of a new revolution of sourcing female tradies across Australia, who have the resources to subtract traditionally male-dominated trades. There is a great deal of people who are doubtful about the notion of feminine trades, but they are eager to give us a move and the feedback from them is wonderful, Petridis explains. When you receive great reviews and testimonials afterward people know that you just do a fantastic job.

Melissa Parker contracted Female Tradie to do her outside decking job, after being burnt by previous experiences with contractors. She needed to get Penny to replace her entire decking as a result of the incompetence of her preceding contractor, saying that her staff were simply wonderful and that she felt comfortable with the experience. She has done on to tell her friends on Facebook that when someone’s looking for a builder, then they should look to the Female Tradie business.

Parker was also happy to have the ability to encourage different girls breaking down obstacles within a male-dominated field. What Penny is doing is excellent, and Parker believes there should be a lot more women like her, breaking down obstacles.

Wendy Pinch was fed up with having work done by undependable tradespeople and began The Lady Tradies, an internet database which connects clients with neighbourhood tradies around Australia, in 2012.

It had dawned on her that these women were out there, however they were not promoting themselves nicely, and on the flipside, the people that needed to hire them were not able to locate them, which is why she went on to create such a database. If someone needs a female electrician, they can find one, if someone needs gas fitting services then they can also find someone to help them out, all within this database.

Penny Petridis, creator of Female Tradie, is a part of a new creation of tradies hard in the office across Australia. For Pinch, there are quite a few factors that inspire people to seek the services of female trades employees, from girls who feel comfortable having another girl around the home to the growth of DIY culture.

They are at a huge home improvement age and lots of the time it’s a girl who is the one opening the doorway to the trade, and she is the one which is likely to make the choices. She’s often contacted not just by clients across Australia but an increasing number of companies seeking to employ female trades and apprentices to tackle the gender imbalance within their own workforce.

The clients are only crying out for [feminine trades], and firms are in fact beginning to target them today, explains Pinch. Her response is, for girls to get a trade ASAP, as there is a hell of a good deal of work awaiting you.

Wendy Pinch founded The Lady Tradies after being fed up with unreliable tradespeople. Despite changing social attitudes, women still account for fewer than two percent of tradespeople in Australia. There is indications of positive growth, however; last year almost a quarter of those 188,600 apprentices or trainees employed as a member of the Australian Apprenticeship Scheme were feminine. Advocacy and media classes are also proving successful. Supporting and Linking Tradeswomen (SALT) helps girls in trades team up, linking them through monthly meetings and social websites.

They attempting to alter what girls believe that they can perform, and also what society believes that girls can perform, the president of SALT, Fi Shewring states. The Wollongong painter, decorator and TAFE teacher started SALT in 2009 after realising how “quite isolated” tradeswomen in Australia were.

It has been hugely successful and left a difference, where they are now able to connect tradeswomen around Australia, as well as from abroad. “Jobs do not have a Gender” is the slogan in SALT, and supported like Shewring are working hard to dispel unconscious prejudice against girls plying traditionally male trades.

If you are trying to find quite a skilled work force, which the trades are, why would you restrict yourself to less than 50 percent of the population as Shewring points out.

Shewring considers that the rising numbers of female apprentices imply that times are changing. It is not limited to electrical services, plastering or commercial plumbing services, women trades are also found in painting, carpentry, amongst others.

Initiatives like SALT’s community applications, including the world’s sole cellular workshop designed to educate women and showing women how to utilize resources, will also be playing a very important function. There are at least three generations of girls who do the projects. It affects the way they see the trade as they realise the skills function isn’t gender-based. You can teach your grandmother how to use a drill and then she is more amenable if her granddaughter comes to her and wishes to enter a trade.

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