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Representation, Visibility & Community: Encouraging Women & Girls to Pursue Careers in Trades

01 December 2023

The world of trades has historically been dominated by men, with women being significantly underrepresented.

But times ARE changing!

Programmed knows that it’s crucial we actively encourage and support more women and girls to pursue careers in trades. This shift towards gender equality and diversity is essential for a balanced and thriving society.

Historical Underrepresentation of Women in Trades

Historically, societal norms and gender stereotypes have influenced the career choices of individuals. Traditionally, trades were viewed as physically demanding and male-oriented, leading to a lack of encouragement for women to pursue such careers.

These stereotypes reinforced the perception that certain professions were better suited for men, while women were expected to opt for roles perceived as more “appropriate” based on gender biases.

The lack of visible female role models in the trades has also perpetuated the idea that women don’t belong in this sector.

Without representation and encouragement, many young women were dissuaded from exploring trade opportunities, contributing to the existing gender gap in this field.

Encouraging Young Women into the Trades

To bridge this gender gap, Programmed knows it’s essential to encourage young women to explore trade careers.

Breaking down gender stereotypes and providing equal opportunities is crucial to achieving a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

  1. Education and Awareness: Initiatives promoting education and awareness about trades can help dispel stereotypes and myths associated with the industry. Schools, colleges, and vocational programs should actively provide information about various career paths, emphasising that trades are for both genders.
  2. Mentorship and Role Models: Encouraging successful women in trades to act as mentors and role models can inspire young women to believe in their capabilities and pursue their passions. Seeing someone who looks like them succeeding in the trades can significantly impact their career choices.
  3. Equal Opportunity: Employers and organisations must ensure equal opportunity for all candidates, regardless of gender. Fair hiring practices, equal pay, and a supportive work environment are essential to attract and retain female talent in the trades.

The Importance of Awards and Representation

Recognising and celebrating the achievements of women in trades is vital to promoting representation.

Kilby Todd from Programmed Property Services, nominated by Bendigo Kangan Institute, was awarded the Bendigo Apprentice of the Year – Craftsperson Award. Described by the judges as an advanced and committed student with exceptional skills and a strong work ethic, excelling in the painting and decorating trade.

The judges praised the support provided by her company and highlighted her dedication to consistently surpassing expectations and setting a remarkable example.

Awards play a significant role in acknowledging the contributions of women and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.

  1. Visibility and Inspiration: Award ceremonies highlight successful women, making their achievements visible to a broader audience. This visibility inspires young girls, showing them that they, too, can excel in the trades.
  2. Community Building: Awards foster a sense of community among women in trades, creating networks that provide support, mentorship, and opportunities for growth. These networks contribute to breaking down barriers and fostering a more inclusive industry.


By addressing historical stereotypes, providing educational opportunities, promoting mentorship, and recognising achievements through awards, we can create a more inclusive society where everyone has an equal chance to thrive and succeed in the trades.

Head to their dedicated employer profile to learn more about Programmed and how they support women at every stage of their career journeys.

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