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Pulling the plug on gender barriers

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Pulling the plug on gender barriers


Published by rtownsend for Sanctuary Housing Association in Education and also in Communities

Carly at work with Sanctuary Maintenance Carly at work with Sanctuary Maintenance

A young female trying to enter the electrical trade is pulling the plug on gender barriers as she begins a 12 week work placement with the hope of kick starting a career in the male dominated industry.

Working with the London team of national property maintenance company, Sanctuary Maintenance, Carly Townsend will spend two days a week trying her hand at a range of projects and learning the tricks of the trade 

Her interest in becoming an electrician began when she signed on to a level 1 electrical course at her local college.

Despite the stereotypes that the construction industry is a male industry, Carly knew from the first day of her course that it was a career she wanted to enter into.

‘I really enjoy the practical element and I am fascinated by how it all fits together.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I approached my local college but I haven’t looked back since day one.”

Carly went on to complete the remaining qualifications which would put her in good stead to pursue a career in the trade, however she was struggling to get any real experience.

She approached Women in Construction, a national organisation that helps women to pursue, establish and sustain successful careers in the trade, who worked closely with Sanctuary Maintenance to develop a specialist placement that would allow Carly to gain experience within their responsive repairs team.

Getting involved in a range of different projects from emergency lighting through to fitting cookers, Carly will be putting her theory into practice as well as learning skills such as time management and the importance of ensuring excellent customer satisfaction.

On top of this the placement will expose her to a variety of working environments and the different types of client groups a company like Sanctuary serves.

Andrea Johnson, London and South East operations manager at Sanctuary Maintenance, said: “There are a growing number of women trying to get into the construction industry and we are delighted to be able to support this. The team are looking forward to welcoming Carly over the next 12 weeks.”

Whilst the male to female ratio is still highly unbalanced there are more and more women embarking on courses to get into maintenance trades.

Carly said: “I think the perceptions around women being in the trade have changed over the past few years and women are being seen as just as capable.

“I haven’t had to face any negative comments about my gender so far and I am hoping this means it will not hinder my career progression.”


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