According to Stuff, 1 in 20 trades apprentices who signed up in 2020 were women – which was double the year before. Overall though, only a tiny percentage of plumbers and tradies are women. We reckon plumbing is for everyone, so how come we’re not seeing more women enter the field?

There have been a few challenges women face when entering the trades, such as:

  • Gender discrimination
  • Unequal pay and training opportunities
  • Lack of acceptance by coworkers
  • Macho culture of the industry (not here at BOP Plumbing & Gas of course, with Sarah on the case!)
  • Underrepresentation of women can make it feel like a man’s world

It has been seen as a man’s world in the past, but that’s all changing. We’re so excited to see women entering our trade as plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers and hope the trend continues! We’re committed to giving women an opportunity to join our team and train with us too.

Between our Kawerau and Rotorua teams, we have 6 women (out of 24 staff) including our co-owner Sarah Jamieson. So we’re definitely seeing the same challenge of finding women to join our team, especially as tradespeople. But we have been stoked to see … apprentices join our team which we hope means we’ll be seeing more and more women joining the trade in the future.

Organisations like Women in Trades and NAWIC are also working hard to make the industry a bit more viable for women in NZ, which we’re sure is going to help! If you’re a woman thinking of entering the field, they’ve got loads of awesome resources. We’d love to see your application too!

Nikita Ward, a female plumber here in NZ, said it right to the Plumbers, Drainlayers & Gasfitters Association – it’s not just about poo! There are plenty of reasons for women to get into the job and plenty of women who love plumbing. We hope to see even more women join our team and the trade.