A leading housing association is inspiring more women to follow in the footsteps of its current trade ambassadors as it seeks to open more opportunities across the organisation.
LiveWest held its first Women in Trades Forum which saw its female workforce come together to discuss ways to encourage more women into trades.
The social housing provider currently has 21 women working across a number of trades, which equates to over 4% of its total trades’ workforce.
But LiveWest will be holding a series of taster days next year across the South West in an effort to encourage women to try their hand at a series of different trades.
Liane Sheppard, Director of Property Services at LiveWest, said: “It is great to recognise the progress our women in trades have made in developing their careers with us.
“We appreciate the challenges women may face going into the trade’s workplace however, we’re challenging these stereotypes and making sure we address this imbalance of women in trade roles. Women are not well represented in skilled trades, and we want to address that by giving them opportunities at LiveWest.
“People of any age and background can do a trade and we’re proud of the contribution everyone makes at LiveWest.
“We’re making great progress in boosting the number of women in LiveWest, and we want to continue this by making sure we provide opportunities for women to explore a trades career with LiveWest.
“We have some great female role models already working across our trades, but we want more, and we will be holding some taster days next year designed to give women a chance to find out more about working in our trades workforce.”
One of the colleagues who attended the forum was Kimberley Cruickshank, a multi-skilled technician who enjoys and appreciates the diversity of her role.
After only joining LiveWest six months ago, Kimberley has applied the skills she gained working as a plumber to her new trade position with LiveWest, furthering her career.
Kimberley Cruickshank, a multi-skilled technician for LiveWest based in Bristol, said: “Plumbing was something I always wanted to do and then when I got my first job it was in the housing industry.
“It was just something I always thrived with and as my daughter was growing up, I decided to put myself through college two evenings a week. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I was lucky enough to get a job with a company while I was still doing the qualification.
‘Then I came to LiveWest and absolutely loved it! They’ve been very understanding with the fact I’m a single mum and with being on call, I may need to book time off to be at school.
“With being a woman in this industry some situations do arise with residents, and they’ve been very supportive. A lot of colleagues are very supportive and have time to teach you which is brilliant.
“It’s nice to be able to carry out repairs to make our resident’s lives that bit better especially if they’ve been struggling, simple repairs can really help them.”
If you’re interested in joining a LiveWest taster day in 2024 and finding out more about a career in trades, you can register your interest at: firstname.lastname@example.org