Females in Industry – Changing Perceptions | ideal industries


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Brett Smith, Managing Director of Ideal Industries EMEA, discusses the need to hire more women in this sector and the challenges currently associated with attracting them. Not so long ago, no matter who you talked to, you rarely met someone who knew an electrician who works “on the tools”. But times are changing, and women make up an estimated 3% of electricians currently employed in the UK. But things are only slowly changing. That 3% is still a tiny fraction of trade, and at a time when we need to increase the number of skilled electricians to enable the deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure, renewable energy technologies and smart buildings, this is an indication of a major challenge this industry faces. If we need more electricians but most of the new hires in the sector are drawn from only half the population – the male half – we are missing out on a trick. Unfortunately, the challenge rests on a “chicken and egg” conundrum: with so few women working as electricians, the next generation of potential female professionals often view electrical installations as a male preserve. As a result, the industry still lacks female role models, and the slow pace of change remains frustratingly slow. That’s why, when we came across Amy Bharat Singh, a woman who retrained as an electrician — at her own expense — just four years ago, we were so impressed with her that we gave her some samples of our products and a sponsorship opportunity. why? Because it’s exactly the kind of electricity the industry needs to inspire both women and men – including those already working in the sector and the next generation of professionals. Discouraged from pursuing her dream as a young woman who dropped out of school, she returned to education at age 28 to retrain at her own expense while continuing to work as she learned. Now, just four years later, Amy has recently been promoted to Contracts Manager by her employer, Synergy Smart Homes, where she manages a team of four electricians. Not only is the way Amy is progressing in her career is impressive, but it’s also how hard she works to inspire and encourage others. Active on both Instagram and YouTube, Amy helps show other women how rewarding a career can be in both electrical and other professions, as well as encourages school graduates for apprenticeships. Let’s pick up the pace With role models like Amy inspiring a new generation of would-be electricians, the industry seems to be making headway in attracting more women. Ideal Industries is keen to play a role in driving positive change as well so that we can nurture talent and encourage a more diverse career. Interview with Amy What made you become an electrician? My grandfather was a plumber, and as a kid, I loved helping him do jobs. Through this, I developed fun to learn practical skills. My two brothers were brought up to be electricians, but as a girl, I wasn’t encouraged in that direction at school or at home. I didn’t really consider it an option, so I ended up working in education. Only when I’ve been traveling for a year have I been able to step back and think about what I want from a career. Traveling also gave me the confidence to go for it, and I needed to because I had to push my way as a mature student and deal with being the only woman on my course. Were your friends and family supportive of your choice? There was a real split between males and females in response to my decision to retrain as an electrician. My mom was a cheerleader and my girlfriends were so supportive because they knew I really wanted to. What did you find most difficult to train as an electrician? Getting people to take me seriously was very difficult at first, and because I had bills to pay, even though I was in college 25 hours a week, I was working as many hours as possible to pay for my course and living expenses as well. This commitment is what helped me earn the respect of my colleagues, so it was worth it. And the most useful? I do a job I love! I worked hard from the start and built on my initial decision to invest in myself by retraining by investing in tools and a truck to advance my career. How important is the ideal industries company sponsorship to you? It’s great to have a globally recognized electric brand and to acknowledge what I do to encourage others. I have used quite a few products and love them, especially the FT-45 Feed Thru Modular Component System for Data Termination, which I will be using a lot now that I work for a smart home specialist. I am excited to see where the relationship with Ideal will go and it is great to know that the company supports the need to encourage more women in this sector. What else do you think can be done to encourage more women to join this sector? The best way is to show them pictures of people like them doing the job. That’s why I’m very active on social media. Companies can also help by placing women on their website and in marketing materials so that the idea of ​​a woman working as an electrician becomes an acceptable and acceptable career choice. Why did you start your YouTube channel? I started my channel and Instagram to encourage other women to work as electricians and in professions. I’m really proud of inspiring others, and it’s so rewarding when I was approached by women who just need a role model to help them believe in themselves and follow their dreams. What is your advice to other women who want to work in the electrical sector? I would definitely tell them to go for it! I love my job and have already progressed far beyond what I expected in my career, but I can see more potential for career development in the future. With that said, I advise women to be confident and committed to their goals. I wish I had been a bit stricter in my first job as an electrician because I encountered some bias, and I was surprised at how hostile some of my colleagues were to having a woman on the team that I didn’t respond to her in a way that would earn me respect and acceptance sooner. Another advice I would give to anyone, male or female, is to invest in developing your career for the long term. Work hard and get as much experience as possible by working in different environments and with different people that you can learn from. And of course, if you ever get a chance, whether it’s a sponsorship from a company like Ideal, a chance to learn a new skill or a promotion, grab it with both hands!


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