The Rise of Women in Skilled Trades
Posted by Michelle Ecker on May 6, 2021
However, it’s no secret that in the US, a number of industries seem to have remained male-dominated over time, the skilled trades industry long being one of them. In 2018, fewer than one in 20 construction trades workers were women, according to a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
By calling out trends like this, identifying opportunity for change, and seeking to foster more gender inclusivity, we are not only creating more diverse and equitable opportunities in the workforce, but we’re also driving further economic success and productivity overall. To start, over the next 5 years, the JFF is working to provide apprenticeship opportunities in manufacturing to nearly 2,000 women and people of color- and they have chosen Penn Foster as the online, related technical instruction provider for the initiative.
Growing opportunity in the skilled trades industry
For women looking for career opportunities in stable, well-paid roles, skilled trades is a promising industry worth exploring, and one currently rife with roles that need filling. Not only has employment within skilled trades remained stable over time, the work is reportedly well compensated. According to the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics (OES), half of payroll workers in construction earn more than $49,030 and the top 25% make at least $68,690. In comparison, the U.S. median wage is $39,810, while the top quartile (top 25%) makes at least $64,240.
Encouraging women to pursue skilled trades roles
However, there are systemic barriers that may hinder women’s enthusiasm to enter the skilled trades, and properly identifying and addressing these barriers is a helpful part of the larger conversation around industry growth. For example, a Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences study on health and safety for women construction workers identified barriers and issues specific to women. One of the items included in a reported list of barriers was a lack of equal training opportunities.
The importance of providing accessible training opportunities
So as an employer looking to provide accessible, practical skilled trades training solutions to a diverse workforce at scale, partnering with training providers like Penn Foster could be a great solution. Not only that, as a worker looking for flexible training options that can be completed online, from home in a self-paced format, these are also programs that seek to eliminate traditional barriers to training completion, as the programs provide students with more control over their own schedules. So not only are these programs entirely configurable, meaning business owners can create curriculum that addresses their specific needs, but the self-paced format allows all students to train on a flexible schedule, without having to miss work or juggle additional responsibilities in order to do so.
Partnering with Penn Foster to provide training to today’s skilled trades workers
Whether it be a configurable training program designed to meet specific, tailored needs of each organizational partner, or multi-year apprenticeship programs and career diplomas, Penn Foster’s skills-based portfolio of education and training solutions were designed to help provide upward career mobility to today’s workers, while delivering productivity and efficiency outcomes within any skilled trades organization. Contact a Penn Foster training expert today to find out how you can leverage flexible training for your workforce.