Trans Tasman reports the Ministry of Women’s Affairs is seeking tenders for:
a project to explore and develop options enabling it to produce a toolkit to encourage women into traditionally male-dominated trades and trades training. The Ministry aims to improve women’s employment opportunities and choices, including their educational choices, job choices and ongoing training. In 2006, only 1% of all plumbers, electricians, carpenters, builders, fitter and welders, fitter and turners, and motor mechanics were women. Previous work established that the main barrier to women entering trades was women were not exposed to this option and so they didn’t consider it.
The Ministry may not consider it its business that men’s representation in traditionally female jobs is probably no better.
One unexpected consequence of more dairying in our area has been a greater number of women involved in farming and farm support.
Many share milkers are partnerships between couples and it’s no longer unusual to have women vets, farm advisors and fertiliser reps.
But it is still not common to find men in what have traditionally been seens as women’s jobs.
Gender discrimination won’t end until society stops regarding particular jobs as men’s or women’s and that will require greater numbers of men in what might have been regarded as women’s jobs as well as more women in what used to be regarded as men’s jobs.
That in turn requires a change of view so that occupations aren’t seen as men’s or women’s but as people’s.