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Packed out event inspires women to enter the trades

AUGUST 29, 2019










More than 140 women jumped at the chance to check out a career in the trades at last week’s packed out Women in Trades event in Auckland. 

The annual event, now in its fourth year, provides an opportunity for women to meet, mix and mingle with tradeswomen, employers and trades training providers as they learn about different trades and the pathways to pursuing a career in the trades.

Women barely make up 3% of the trades workforce and its time that changed. The event hit the mark with attendees, with one saying “this afternoon was one of the most memorable and significant afternoons of my recent years. It has helped me grasp the number of career options open to me and helped me decide my future.”

Women in Trades Chair Kylie Taffard summed up why this event is so special to the supporters and attendees: “This is an event for women, where they can hear from other women about the trades, give an activity a go and have a good time while also being able to ask the hard questions. It is a highlight of our year.”

The afternoon started with the opportunity for attendees to “give it a go”, testing their skills picking up tennis balls with a digger, laying tiles, winching a car and trying out powertools. 

A Keynote speech and panel discussion covered the challenges and opportunities for women considering a trades career. The message to attendees was that a trades job can take you anywhere, no day is the same and the sky (or the board room) is the limit in how far and high you can go.

Mitre 10 Trade were thrilled to again sponsor the Mitre 10 Keynote Award and be involved in the evening. GM of Trade Derek Heard presented the award to winner Flora Rivers of Johnstone Construction, saying “Flora impressed the judges with her fresh and inspiring story of putting everything in to pursuing her dream of a carpentry career in New Zealand.”

Flora is a Women in Trades success story. After attending the event in 2017 she took up a pretrades course with MPTT at Unitec. She again came to the event in 2018 close to the end of her course and met her future employer, our inaugural sponsor Johnstone Construction, and BCITO with whom she is now undertaking her carpentry apprenticeship.

As the winner of the award she received public speaking and storycrafting coaching to then give the Keynote at the WIT event, where she shared her inspiring story encouraging the women in attendance to get out and get their hands dirty (even if it means giving up a  regular manicure!) and sought to dispel some myths about what often being the only woman on the team was like. 

If you’d like to find out more about Women in Trades, head to: 




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