As an aspiring young female tradie, I went to check out the Women in Trades mini conference.

The industry has been male dominant for many years, but now is the time for women to make the most of the construction industry.

From plumbing, to carpentry and associated trades like vehicle mechanics, opportunities for a career in the trades have never been better in New Zealand. Despite this, women make up less than five per cent of tradespeople.

Women in Trades hosted a mini-conference, just for young women interested in learning more about starting career in trades, on Wednesday September 6 at GridAKL in Auckland’s CBD. Students were given a tour around some of Auckland’s latest construction sites.

The tour helped me realise the many different trades that come together on a project as a team. They all have their own tasks to do and by the looks of things at the time, they were carrying them out correctly and safely.

Women in Trades is a campaign that promotes women to work in trade industries. Employers want more women employees because they are just as capable as men.  The organisation also helps young women, like myself, and their parents to help us realise the life-time opportunities for anyone with a willing attitude.

At the conference, women from the trade industry shared their experiences and the different kinds of roles they play. The atmosphere that filled the conference rooms made me feel like I was in my place, where I belonged, and on the pathway to my future.

I would recommend the trades industry as a career pathway to any young woman. One exciting thing I learnt was that most trades send you around the world for work experience and training.

The conference’s primary sponsor was Manukau Institute of Technology.

It was also sponsored by BCITO, Kelston Girls’ College, Johnstone Construction, MITO, GRID/Akl, National Association of Women in Construction, Skills, Unitec, and Workchoice, and is supported by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

WIT is a not-for-profit organisation, promoting trades and trades training to women. Go to for more information.