Did you know women make up just 11% of the workforce when it comes to construction? This includes design, management and administration roles.
But the number of women working in the construction trades has doubled in the last 10 years and if the trend continues there could be as many as 51,000 women in construction by the end of this decade.
Up until recently the offerings of workwear have been pretty slim as traditional work clothes are designed for men and just in case you haven’t noticed women are smaller and have a different shape.
Workwear that doesn’t fit isn’t just uncomfortable. It can be dangerous.
Ill-fitting clothing can snag in machinery or cause a trip hazard. It also impedes mobility and the ability to get the job done.
Under UK legislation, employers have a responsibility to provide workwear that’s fit for purpose. For example, most women have smaller faces and slimmer and smaller shoe sizes than men.
Poorly fitting footwear and safety eyewear can leave female workers vulnerable to accidents and injury.
You need workwear that is comfortable and easy to move around in so having something that fits is important to both men and women.
What is the difference?
The main difference is sizing. A men’s small, and a women’s small are different sizes so what works for men is often too big for a woman so having workwear made for the individual gender is ideal. The cut of the clothing is also different, the cut is often more fitted but also gives room around the chest and hips, whereas men’s workwear is often comfort fit so looks baggy and big on a female.
Boots are a big problem for most ladies as men’s boots tend to start in a size 7 so it’s always been a struggle. With the manufacturing of ladies work boots, the problem has been solved as they start in a petite size 3.
Luckily workwear for women is becoming more readily available and more companies are releasing ranges all the time. Here at ITS our range is growing all the time with new suppliers and new designs.
Let’s talk about sizing for a minute.
All women’s boots start in a size 3 and go up to a size 8 so you will always find something in your size. What I have noticed about the clothing is generically sized, small, medium, large etc. I’ve only found one company that sizes using women’s clothing sizes exclusively and that’s Scruffs (coming soon at ITS.co.uk).
Everything you could need is readily available; some of it is really nice and there’s not much pink which makes a nice change. Starting at the bottom there is a great range of work boots and trainers. Lots of different styles and colours so something to suit every taste.
Moving onto trousers, I’ve found that most styles only come in one length which is ok unless you need a short or long length, but Blaklader does maternity work trousers so that gets them extra brownie points.
Moving onto your top half, there is an amazing selection. T-shirts with either long or short sleeves, smart polo shirts as well as hoodies and jackets.
We also do a great range of hi-viz clothing, which is great for site work.
The correct fit makes women look and feel professional, bolsters morale and productivity, and maintains the company image. Employees are far more likely to adhere to uniform and PPE policies if they have no reservations about the clothing and equipment they use. Female-fit workwear and protective clothing are a step toward gender equality and help women to feel they are cared for equally in the workplace. This encourages female talent when recruiting and anything that brings more women into the industry is a good thing surely?
Check out our full range of women’s workwear here and let me know if anything is missing from our range.
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