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Industry Comment


How gender inclusiveis the electrical wholesale industry?


When it comes to the electrical industry, it’s fairly safe to say that those working on site and in homes installing and repairing are more than likely to be men. In fact, according to the NICEIC, less than one in every 1,000 electrical contractors is a woman. But what about the electrical wholesale industry?


A


ccording to electrical wholesaler QVS Direct, this branch of the industry is already much more


inclusive and getting better all the time thanks to the various avenues within which it’s possible to work. Amanda Evrard, Marketing Executive at QVS


Direct, recognises that although being an electrician can be tough for women, wholesale presents an easier route into the industry. She said: “Whilst historically, the industry was


predominantly male-oriented, times are changing and more women are now showing an interest in roles within industries like electrical wholesale and engineering. “I appreciate there is still some way to go


before women are automatically accepted in the same way as men are because we are dealing with deep rooted traditions/mindsets, passed down from generation to generation. “However, even in the last 30 years the


workplace has changed dramatically for women, with more opportunities opening up, better training programmes and all aided by new legislation protecting everyone against non- PC and discrimination.”


Transferrable skills Amanda also believes that one of the best things about the electrical wholesale industry is that it allows people to transfer skills from other roles and industries, making it accessible to those wanting to enter the industry for the first time. She continued: “Outside of being a female


electrician or electrical engineer, there are other careers for women within the electrical wholesale industry. These would be the same as any other industry as you will always need commercial, financial and operational support so these types of roles would include sales, accounts, logistics, buying, marketing, IT support, e-commerce, and more.” In terms of how the industry could improve


further, Amanda thinks that it all stems from the appropriate education as early as possible. She continues: “To make the industry as


inclusive as possible, I think it needs to start as early as school level. Education is key to


28 | electrical wholesalerMarch 2018


Unfortunately, working in the


electrical industry is


largely still considered a ‘job for the boys’ and it’s about time this changed.


changing mindsets and nurturing ambition, determination and ability. That’s why apprenticeship schemes work because it gives employees a real taster of the job whilst obtaining a qualification, which will in turn lead to new opportunities.” Any women considering moving into the


electrical wholesale industry, or those already involved but who want to progress or move within it, can heed the following advice from QVS Direct’s Marketing Executive. “If you really want the job, you need to demonstrate that in the interview. Show how you fit the bill. Do your homework, know what you are applying for and what that role entails and demonstrate that you are more than capable of performing that role. “I have worked in predominantly male


orientated environments, and have found that outside of any experience and qualifications, a good sense of humour, large dose of


determination and a thick skin is what’s needed to get you through.”


Gender imbalance QVS Direct has also launched a campaign to help address the gender imbalance in the contracting arm of the industry. Its Women in Electrical campaign features interviews with various female electricians and business owners, as well as major industry bodies, offering personal stories, advice and more. As part of the campaign, you’ll find interviews with the President of the Women’s Engineering Society, the NICEIC, NAPIT, the owner of a UK directory of tradeswomen, electrical training providers, and much more. Speaking about the campaign, QVS Manager, James Ellis, said: “Unfortunately, working in the electrical industry is largely still considered a ‘job for the boys’ and it’s about time this changed. By not providing the encouragement and support for women to enter the industry, we’re missing out on the potential of so many skilled electricians, engineers and entrepreneurs. “This campaign is an attempt to encourage


more women to join this fantastic industry, as well as showcase some of the amazing work women are already doing in the electrical sector. We hope this is just the first step in a growing and ongoing campaign.” Find out more about the campaign at:


www.qvsdirect.com/women-in-electrical www.ewnews.co.uk


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