It’s a well-established fact that women in trades are severely underrepresented.

They account for a mere 4% of the workforce in trade fields such as maintenance, construction, and natural resources, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.  

Women have faced various barriers to entering and advancing in well-paid skilled trade jobs that have kept the number of women in those fields low for decades. The tide may be turning now, though, especially with the help of trade schools like CET.

Factors Affecting the Numbers of Women in Trades

To address this gap, one must first understand what causes it which requires looking at the big picture. The issue starts as kids, well before the women who might consider trades as a profession have even reached adulthood. 

The outreach to girls who are thinking about careers in high school can be insufficient to make an impact. So, young girls often don’t consider trade jobs as an option in the first place and don’t see female role models in those positions.

Around the US, trades also don’t always get the same respect as other professions. This might further discourage girls and young women from pursuing such paths.

Women who choose to pursue the trades are sometimes met with significant obstacles, such as constant questioning or doubt in their skills, and even hostility from their coworkers and bosses. Some may have a mindset that “women don’t belong there.” It doesn’t have to be this way, though. 

Making Improvements for Women in Trades

How can the outlook for women in trades get better? With conscious effort on the part of educators and leaders in the industry.

Change doesn’t just happen. People need to make it happen.

CET is proud to be leading the way in supporting women in trades. The education offered at CET empowers more women to be prepared and confident in entering those fields.

One of the best ways to encourage more women to consider entering the trades is to highlight the accomplishments and success of women who have already taken that path. With that in mind, here is a spotlight on one of the many future successful women in trades who started at CET, Lashe Morley.

Women in Trades Spotlight

Lashe Morley is an Electrical student at CET’s San Jose school. She has been studying both in the lab and online as a result of pandemic-related adjustments but rose to the occasion and is learning plenty all the same.

She noted that her program at CET will have a great payoff in the long term. The skills you learn in trade school will help you throughout the rest of your career and CET’s hands-on approach ensures students never forget them.

Another notable fact about Lashe’s experience at CET is that she was one of the first recipients of the WANTO grant. The WANTO grant, short for Women in Apprenticeships and Non-Traditional Occupations, is a grant awarded to help finance job training for women in trades. 

CET: Proud Recipient of the WANTO Grant

In its first year competing, CET recently won the WANTO grant, one of six community-based organizations to win.

With the funds from this grant, CET will be able to empower as many as 75 women to pursue careers in skilled trades and provide the necessary education for them to do so. They will have the option to join CET programs such as Electrician, Green Building Construction Skills, HVAC Technician & Green Technology, Automotive Specialist, Welding Fabrication, and Truck Driver. During the program, the women will get the support they need to find positions in their desired fields, too.

CET plans on hiring additional staff and providing more technical support to staff and partners to foster inclusive, productive spaces for women with the funds from the grant.

A major goal at CET is to support women in apprenticeships and nontraditional occupations and this grant will play a key role in achieving that goal. Hopefully, more and more women will be able to succeed in trades and fields that were previously considered “just for men.” Read more about the opportunities for women to join the trades and succeed here.