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Why Women ‘Should Choose’ A Professional Career In Plumbing

Published Tuesday, July 14, 2020
by The World Plumbing Council
Why Women ‘Should Choose’ A Professional Career In Plumbing

Here’s a riddle: A father and son were in a car accident where the father was killed.  The ambulance brought the son to the hospital.  He needed immediate surgery.  In the operating room, a Doctor came in and looked at the little boy and said “I can’t operate on him he is my son!”

How is this possible?

Who is the Doctor?

The answer is: The little boy’s mother is the Doctor.

Some of you may be familiar with this riddle, but for those of you who are not and found yourselves struggling to solve the mystery, rest assured, you are not alone.

Replace Doctor with Plumber and you’ll find the same bias that exists for women in the medical profession is ten-fold in the Plumbing Industry.

These days we have come to readily accept Women Doctors - but the same does not hold true for Women Plumbers.

Years of social bias and the push to make everyone attend a four-year college, especially women, have resulted in perpetually low numbers of Women Plumbers.

The Construction Trades have developed a sense of learned helplessness when it comes to the recruitment of women.

Despite continued outreach, I still hear Trade Industry Professionals say: “What can I do? Women just don’t want to do this type of work!”

I’m sure, not too long ago, when women were type cast as Nurses you would hear people in the medical industry say: “Women don’t want to be Doctors, they’d rather be Nurses.”

It is this bias where the problem lies.

But what steps can we take, both individually and collectively to encourage more women to enter the Plumbing Trade?

Changing society won’t be easy, but we can start by changing the way the world sees Women Plumbers.

We need to interact with and engage young people and sow the idea of Women Plumbers in their minds as early as possible, so the concept is fully grown and second nature to them by the time they are adults.

We need to find ways of mainstreaming the idea of Women Plumbers through television, movies and other media. 

We need to let women see themselves as Plumbers, so they know it is possible and as acceptable a profession for women as a Doctor. 

We need to make sure women know about the benefits of being a Plumber and the pride that comes with being a part of this critical sector of the workforce that helps keep our country strong, safe and healthy.

We need to create a new paradigm where Women Plumbers are as ubiquitous as Women Teachers, Nurses, Doctors or Lawyers.

Women have to see it, in order to know they can be it

We must break the mold and create a new way for society to think about women in the Trades.

The more women enter the Trades, the more society will accept women in the Trades.

And, the more society accepts women in the trades, the more women will enter the Trades.

To start this cycle - women have to see women working in these professions.

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