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New initiative to increase representation of women in trade roles

Woman wearing a white hard hat and yellow hi-vis jacket

We have joined forces with others in the UK housing industry to launch the Women’s Trade Network.

Published: 09/03/2021

The Network aims to increase awareness of the variety of roles available to women through Direct Labour Organisations, contractors and self-employment. It also offers routes into training and employment.

The pandemic has had a huge impact on women in closed sectors such as retail and arts and leisure, where women make up 57 per cent of the workforce. In comparison, only two per cent of tradespeople are female, often deterred by the stereotypes attached to the profession.

Alongside the other participating organisations, we have also signed the Women’s Trade Network Pledge, a commitment to supporting long-term change in the industry. While increased awareness and access to jobs will encourage more women into trade roles, structural changes are also required in order to increase female representation in the industry.

The Pledge outlines achievable ways partners can remove barriers, empower and support women as well as increase access.

Ashling Fox, Chief Operating Officer at Peabody, said:
"I am delighted to be part of the founding team for the Women's Trade Network. There are so many opportunities for women to have a successful career in trade, but the perceived barriers to entry make people discount it. Peabody has a long track record of supporting people into work and gaining better access to education and training and this is a great opportunity for our residents and young people. Breaking down barriers to employment will be a core element of the Women’s Trade Network and in the coming years I hope we can really make a change in the industry."

Founded by Plentific, the Network also includes the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), Notting Hill GenesisL&Q, Places for People, Women’s Pioneer Housing and Direct Works.

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