Dads encouraged to discuss their trade with daughters

Published:  23 June, 2016

Tradesmen are being encouraged to discuss their trade with their daughters as part of National Women in Engineering Day.

In a survey carried out by electrical industry body NICEIC, three-quarters of male electricians said they would be happy for their daughters to take up a career in the trade, and yet a similar percentage felt women would be discouraged from a trade career by 'old school attitudes'.

According to the survey, only one in five daughters had received any trade careers advice from education services.

NICEIC's 'Jobs for the Girls' campaign was set up to encourage more women into the trade and to plug the increasing skills and gender gaps.

Emma Clancy, CEO of NICEIC, said: "Dads have an important role to play in shaping the career choices of their daughters – particularly in the trades sector where many children follow in their father’s footsteps.

"As part of National Women in Engineering Day (23 June, 2016) we would encourage dads to talk about their trade to their daughters."

Since launching the Jobs for the Girls campaign in 2011, NICEIC has seen a growing interest from women wanting to take up a trade, but the numbers are still painfully low.

Ms Clancy added: "It was interesting to note that many men feel certain attitudes from another era, still exist today. That is something we all have a duty to eradicate. I would encourage dads who do come across such attitudes to take a stand and think about how they might feel if it was their daughter working in the industry."

The survey of over 100 electrical contractors found that 90% of fathers believe it is their responsibility to advise their daughters on their career choices. However, only one in five dads said their child had received any information from school or careers advice service about trade opportunities.

"A lot has been done in recent years across the construction sector to encourage more women into the industry, yet there still remains a low take up of jobs in the sector among young women, with only one in 1,000 electricians in the UK being female,” added Ms Clancy. "Schools also have a role to play. What we have found is that women who do become electricians often do so later on in life.

"We believe that more can be done between the ages of 7-15 in schools to ensure taking up a trade is taught as an equal opportunity for both boys and girls. Young girls are often not informed or are actively discouraged from taking up a trade at a key point in their life."

Of the electricians surveyed, a quarter said their daughter had considered a career as an electrician, significantly higher than the average number of women entering the profession. "Our research suggests the interest is there. We now have to build on that and do what we can to break down any barriers that might be preventing young women from entering the trade.

“We are quite used to seeing father and son teams working as electricians. It would be great to see Dad and daughter splashed across vans in the near future too."