7th Glorious Year for WIT – The only all-day event for all tradeswomen in UK

7th Glorious Year for WIT – The only all-day event for all tradeswomen in UK

WIT began as a bright idea by Hattie Hasan MBE, founder of Stopcocks Group Limited, to create the opportunity for women plumbers and heating engineers to meet. After 6 all-day events and the first afternoon networking session, some of the tradeswomen (from all and every skilled trade) who attend, have never met another tradeswoman before, showing the need for more events like this.

This year’s WIT, the seventh, promises to be the best yet. It is on 4th July at London Metropolitan University’s Great Hall. Tradeswomen frequently travel from as far as Scotland, although this year, an Australian woman plumber has already booked. This certainly shows it’s global as well as national appeal and how word spreads through this small community.

While suicide rates for men in the construction and maintenance industries are 2 per week, we are seeing that women experience additional issues and also have different responses to mental ill-health they experience (also at worryingly high levels)

Recent white papers show that 78% of tradeswomen have seen discrimination on grounds of sex or gender and 72% have experienced it themselves within the industry. Women in skilled trades receive just 72% of tradesmen’s pay in similar roles. Additionally, 38.97% of self-employed tradeswomen were unsure of how to access pregnancy or maternity benefits. Moreover, we have become aware of several women currently pursuing grievances connected to possible constructive dismissal due to them being pregnant – and believe they are actively fighting this because of support they are receiving from other tradeswomen, where previously they would have little choice but to simply leave their jobs with no recourse.

In relation to the skills shortage and difficulties recruiting into the construction and maintenance industries most of the public thinks the perceived treatment and scarcity of tradeswomen make the construction industry unattractive, hampering its diversity and inclusivity, issues taken very seriously by most people now entering the workforce and contributing to the skills shortage.

WIT, the only daylong event in UK for all tradeswomen and female trainees, is clearly very necessary if the serious issues holding back the industry culture are to be fully addressed and an effective solution found to drag the industry into the 21st Century with the full and dynamic workforce it needs.

WIT remains independent of all industry bodies and government but is supported by some concerned and forward-thinking manufacturers, employers and service providers within the sector: Monument Tools, Vaillant UK, Mira, Kensa, Grudfos, Swale, Impey, Mark Vitow, Crowcon, Octopus, Energy and LCL Awards. To join these companies and sponsor WIT, email us at mica@stopcocks.uk.

Tickets for WIT are free for all tradeswomen and female trades trainees and a mere £60 for everyone else. They can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wit-2024-tickets-828453967117

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