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New website highlights Kiwi Tradeswomen

5 December 2006

For immediate release

New website highlights Kiwi Tradeswomen

Tradesman review website MyTradesman.co.nz is launching a new site that promotes tradeswomen and the firms that are employing them.

MyTradeswoman.co.nz goes live today and aims to highlight the roles that women are playing in trades, roles which remain male-dominated.

“Tradeswomen can be hard to find in New Zealand with women comprising just 8.5% of all tradespeople,” says co-founder of MyTradeswoman.co.nz Matt Burgess.

“If some people prefer to hire women, or if they want to support firms employing female trade professionals, then MyTradeswoman.co.nz is the only place to find them. The site also contains customer reviews covering all trades right across the country.”

The new site is the first major development since a successful launch three months ago, and is the result of feedback about the MyTradesman name.

One site user wrote, “Why have you chosen to call your site MyTradesman.co.nz when there are numerous women working many trades? It bugs me that tradespeople are always seen to be men.”

Another user wrote, “Are you aware women tradespeople are far more adept at repairs, tidier, reliable? It is 2006, not 1806.”

Auckland apprentice mechanic Andrea Mendoza welcomes the new site.

“MyTradeswoman is way overdue. There is a real demand for female tradespeople. The new site is great because it helps people who want a tradeswoman doing their work to find them.”

The Minister of Women's Affairs Lianne Dalziel has also expressed her support for the concept.

“Congratulations on your initiative in launching the MyTradeswoman website,” said the Minister. “I suspect that there is a niche market for tradeswomen – for example, some women might prefer to have a female tradesperson come to the house, especially if they are on their own.

“On that basis alone, your website should be a useful resource for anyone seeking a competent tradeswoman who comes recommended by previous clients.”

Tradeswomen have been difficult to find in some trades.

“If people know of a business that currently employs at least one tradeswoman, whether an apprentice or fully qualified, go to MyTradeswoman.co.nz and click on a link on the front page to let us know,” says Matt Burgess.

“We have a lot of information right now, but we can always use more,” he added.

MyTradeswoman.co.nz already has more than 1,600 reviews of trades professionals across New Zealand, making it New Zealand’s largest collection of reviews and is free for both tradespeople and their customers to use.

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Fact sheet

A Human Rights Commission report was launched in Parliament in September by the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Lianne Dalziel. It found that:

 One in twelve Modern Apprentices are women, and a growing number of them are training to become builders, joiners, carpenters, electricians and motor mechanics.

 Female apprentices have increased from 6.6 percent in 2003 to 8.5 percent today.

 Skills shortages are prompting employers to buck the trend and employ female apprentices.

 Female Modern Apprentices list “hands-on” job satisfaction, the ability to earn while they learn, lack of student debt and job portability as factors in their career choice.

 “Faced with a skills shortage, some employers are thinking outside the box and bringing young women into trades training, which is great.” - EEO Commissioner Dr Judy McGregor.

 Trade and Enterprise New Zealand and Northland Polytechnic funded a research project earlier this year aimed at promoting female enrolment in trade courses and mentoring service for trades students, trainees and tradeswomen.

 The Human Rights Commission is coordinating a project with WelTec to increase women's participation in Modern Apprenticeships to 15% by 2007.


New Zealand Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO)

Report commission in Feb 2006 titled “Women in Construction – The Untapped Resource?”

Report found that:

 New Zealand has a much lower percentage of women training for trades in the building and construction industry compared to UK, Canada or Australia.

 All building and construction employers who employed a tradeswoman reported definite benefits from have women onsite, including:

- Curbing of certain unprofessional behavior of the males

- Increasing respect between the employees

- Increasing the standard of work completed as women can be more detailed in their work, thus creating beneficial and motivating competition.

- Females are seen as being better planners, with the view that “guys wing it a bit more”.

- Benefit from the different perspective women bring to the industry.


Full Statement from the Minister

Comment for MyTradeswoman website from Lianne Dalziel, Minister of Women's Affairs, Minister of Commerce and Minister for Small Business:

Congratulations on your initiative in launching the MyTradeswoman website, which I understand is a spin-off from MyTradesman.

I suspect that there is a niche market for tradeswomen – for example, some women might prefer to have a female tradesperson come to the house, especially if they are on their own. On that basis alone, your website should be a useful resource for anyone seeking a competent tradeswoman who comes recommended by previous clients.

If having women on the payroll is a positive point of difference, then more companies might take on more female apprentices and tradespeople, so I can only welcome any initiative that highlights such opportunities.

As Minister of Women's Affairs, I recently released some research that shows very clearly how much more money women can earn by taking up trades that have traditionally been dominated by men. So I hope your website is successful.


ENDS

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