“Thoughts do more. Words do much. Actions do much more.” Powerful words from a young Ghanaian author, Israelmore Ayivor, that do well to sum up our approach to gender balance at Programmed.
As a society, there has been much thinking and a fair bit of talk in terms of workplace gender balance. This has seen great results with its recognisable benefits now openly acknowledged.
And at Programmed, we’ve been chipping away at the gender balance block for many years now. We know discourse will remain purely that, unless a clear business strategy on gender balance is constructed and implemented.
For some time, we have trekked the path to increasing female representation in the workforce, (see the Programmed Group Diversity initiatives here) with a keen focus on equalising the gender balance in our trade roles.
With our business heavily reliant on our skilled trades working daily on customers’ sites, we cannot ignore the ratio of male and female team members in this traditionally male-dominated role. We believe the pathway to balancing this is to train up more female trade apprentices.
We’ve shaped our apprenticeship programme to attract both males and females, and are committed to supporting all our male and female apprentices as they progress in their trade careers.
But we need the participation of the population, particularly the female populace, to take this up. Challenging mindsets and instigating change involves us all.
Programmed Electrical Technologies Executive General Manager, Simon Keen, says “Our apprenticeship programme supports apprentices to progress all the way to senior management level. We encourage all career counsellors, organisations and institutions to collaborate with Programmed and together achieve gender balance in the trade industry. By working alongside, we can increase the number of female apprentices and make a significant impact on the industry.”
Our apprentices would agree with Emily Mendoza, Programmed’s first-year electrical apprentice, when she describes how her Programmed apprenticeship has allowed her to “gain skills and knowledge that will last her the rest of her life.”
Importantly for Emily, she notes the lack of gender stereotypes within her team and how she feels safe operating in a professional and inclusive environment.
It is an encouraging statement, and powerful. It demonstrates how both men and women at Programmed openly foster diversity in our individual teams.
This gives Emily, and all our apprentices, an opportunity to not just enhance her skills with Programmed through pathways to achieve multiple licences in her field of expertise, but also the right environment to do so.
If Programmed can join forces with your organisation, school or diversity movement, please get in touch. Let us get involved, so together we achieve total gender balance.
If you’re looking for a great opportunity to try a trade, apply to be the next Programmed apprentice here.