News / trade

Celebrating Bristol’s women in trade

By ellie pipe, Tuesday Aug 6, 2019

Ensuring women can access opportunities available through Bristol’s booming trades sectors is a key aim of an event at M Shed this month.

The cranes that dominate the city’s skyline are a sign of the flourishing economy, but woman and non-binary workers are all too often excluded, as industries such as plumbing, electrician and construction remain largely dominated by men.

The free one-day event, hosted by Bristol Women’s Voice (BWV) and M Shed on August 31, aims to change this, while celebrating those working in trades and highlighting the contributions women have made throughout Bristol’s history.

The event aims to engage with women considering a career in trades

“The construction and trade industry in the city are booming and women, unfortunately, are in the minority within those roles,” explains Sandra Gordon, volunteer coordinator for BWV.

“Although being a self-employed trades person could provide flexibility and a good income to women, the number involved in or entering the industry remains fairly low.

“There are women in our city who are plumbers, electricians and plasters, but they are not easy to find, and we want to encourage more women into this industry from all age groups.”

Another key element of the event is to highlight the challenges and barriers faced to entry into trades careers.

It will also celebrate women in trade today and throughout Bristol’s history

Kicking off at 11.30am, the event will be opened by lord lieutenant Peaches Golding OBE.

It will include a look at ‘Women in Trade through history’ with Jane Duffus, author of The Women Who Built Bristol, as well as a panel discussion on the challenges and barriers faced. Panelists include the MP for Bristol south Karin Smyth, Charlotte Gage from Bristol Zero Tolerance, David Dibble, the head of construction at City of Bristol College, and Fadiya Ahmed from Women in Property.

There will also be a tour of the M Shed, with an appearance by Kim Hicks as Sarah Guppy, the first woman to formally design and patent a bridge, as we well as a series of workshops, talks, stalls and taster sessions.

For tickets and more information, visit:

Read more: New construction skills centre in south Bristol could open in 2021

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