Are Female Electricians Undermined?

For a long time the electrical industry has been majorly male dominated. In fact, only 1% of electricians are female. It’s so dominated that if I were to hear a friend say they have an electrician in doing work, I’d automatically assume that they are male. Sadly, these are the facts that we face in the electrical industry, however, it’s clearly obvious that there is a lot of potential for female electricians, and most of them out there are doing equally as well as the males, if not better.


Is there a struggle to find work for female electricians?


Because the electrical industry and the trades industry in general is traditionally male dominated, any sort of change to that tradition is frowned upon by a lot of people that currently work in it. Approximately 29% of UK adults would prefer a female electrician opposed to a male electrician, and 41% of woman have said they would feel safer in their homes with a female electrician. If this is the case, then where are they?

The problem as I mentioned before, lies within the industry itself. Unless you’re going to be a self employed female electrician, there is a big chance that you will be undermined and will have to take a lot of sexist remarks. An example of this would be Sian, a female electrician who found herself struggling for work after facing sexism. “A couple have said women belong in the kitchen, but I tend to shrug it off” is an example of a remark that Sian has faced, and the constant sexism she encountered stopped her from finding a full time role in the industry for 3 months.

With 14 million householders preferring a female electrician over a male electrician, there has been an increase in self employed electricians, female run firms and companies looking specifically for female sparks, which eliminates any negative behavior or sexism towards them from their male counterparts. With more people speaking out about wanting to see more female electricians, demand will always be met purely because it’s an opportunity for money, so could we see an increase in female electricians over the next few years?


Female Electricians should not be undermined


Sadly, you will see some people putting female electricians down with sexism, such as “it’s a mans job”, however, there is no evidence to prove that female electricians are not as good at their jobs compared to male electricians. In fact, the only evidence there is completely contradicts that statement. For example, take Carrie Gould, who won the  outstanding 2nd year apprentice award and outperformed her male counterparts.

Unfortunately, even with a big percentage of the public preferring female electricians, they still feel undermined. For example, Ashley says that the most challenging thing being a tradeswoman is that she always feels underestimated by people. “There are lots of different people on the job site, it’s very diverse. Construction people aren’t afraid to be themselves, so I just do me.” This is the attitude needed, and with more people like Ashley, I can see a large increase in female electricians and female tradeswomen to come.

If you’re interested in finding out more about women in trade, then check out our women in skilled trades blog!

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