The overwhelming majority agree that it takes hard work, positive relationships, and a willingness to learn in order to be successful. In addition to these universal traits, each industry requires unique attributes in order to succeed.
Women have consistently dominated the health, education, recruitment, and customer service industries. Very personal and human-oriented industries which have allowed women to show the world that they are statistically better leaders through clear communication, an openness to innovate, and effective goal management.
With that said, women are embracing their futures and capitalizing on industry trends to rise in industries where they are traditionally the minority. Which industries have women on the rise and more importantly, what is the secret to their success?
[Data] Which Industries Have Women on the Rise?
Housecall Pro, after six years in the business, has compiled data from tens of thousands of past the current users to discover the true representation of women across home service industries. These are the industries found to have communities of women workers on the rise.
21% of Pest Control Employees are Women
The pest control industry is very important for the health, safety, and comfort of people worldwide. Pest control in the United States is booming (largely contributed to rising demand for bedbug, ant, termite, and mosquito control services) and projected to generate $17.4 billion dollars in revenue by 2023.
This multi-billion dollar industry has proven to be a place of opportunity for women. Of the tens of thousands of accounts of past and current Housecall Pro users, 21% of employees working in pest control are female. Given this and the expectation of industry employment to increase by 7% over the next eight years, women have the potential to capitalize on a growing field.
20% of Employees in Generating Contracting are Women
The construction industry is a major contributor to the U.S. economy, bringing in a total of $2 trillion in revenue in 2019. This is largely due to improved household finances, easier access to credit and loans, and positive consumer responses towards building in general.
Housecall Pro reports 20% of its past and current users, are women who work in general contracting in some capacity. Women, while still a minority, have been on the rise in recent years.
In fact, the phrase and hashtag, #MoveOverBob has gained enough traction to have its own presence on social media, as well as its own website. Coined to normalize the image of women in the construction trade, with men, to get the job done, it is proof of the rising female community within the industry.
19% are Employees in HVAC Industries
Heating and air conditioning are considered essential to a household’s quality of life and often is resistant to economic downturn because of it. Total revenue for 2019 is at $97 billion and employment is expected to be up 13% by 2028, however, with more workers reaching retirement age, the industry is seeing a shortage of qualified technicians.
Women in HVACR is one organization empowering women to grow their skills through education and mentorship. A membership includes scholarship eligibility, online course discounts, and a very active network of industry professionals.
About 19% of Housecall Pro’s users in the HVAC industries are women and this number is expected to rise as they use their skills to capitalize on the opportunities the industry is presenting.
58% of Home Cleaning Businesses are Women Operated
Let’s be honest. This is not surprising but it is still a great statistic to see. Of the tens of thousands of accounts of past and current Housecall Pro users, 58% of home cleaning businesses have women owners.
Home cleaning services have been an area of female domination for quite some time and with higher levels of disposable incomes and the average age of the U.S. population increasing, demand for industry services is showing no signs of stopping.
20% of Plumbing Businesses are Run By Women
Housecall Pro reports that 20% of the plumbing businesses of its past and current users are owned by women. This $110 billion dollar industry has undergone changes over the years and what has stuck has allowed women to create a space for themselves in an industry primarily associated with men.
The need for plumbers is ever-increasing and the growing population (and the number of toilets) only means more demand than ever. Modern advancements have also played a role and women are capitalizing on the internet and social media as a way to build a business, allowing them to thrive in some might say the unlikeliest of places.
What This Means for the Workforce of the Future
Lady Pros are on the rise in certain industries but are still the overwhelming minority in the workforce. But what significance does this rise have for the workforce of the future?
Well, when more women are in the workforce, the whole economy benefits.
Yeah, that’s right, the economic empowerment of women has been found to boost productivity, increase economic diversity, and increase income equality which leads to faster economic growth.
In fact, it has been found that increasing employment and leadership opportunities for women can improve the organizational effectiveness and growth of a company so much so that if female employment rates in OECD countries were increased to match Sweden’s levels, GDP could increase by over $6 trillion.
Think on that for a second. Now, that is a large scale example with a large scale impact but the field services industry is not that far off. As more women break into the industry, thrive, and grow the industry as a whole, the better the U.S. economy will grow as well.
Although it has started slowly, the industry is poised to support the next generation of workers in a multitude of ways.
Female Home Service Workforce Breakdown by State
When female field service employees across all industries are broken down by state (using proprietary Housecall Pro data), we can see that certain states have higher and lower representations than others.
States with the highest percentages of female employees:
States with the lowest percentages of female employees:
North Dakota (16%)
South Dakota (19%)
West Virginia (19%)
With that said the average state percentage of female employees is 25% meaning most of the country has room for improvement in regards to attracting female employees to the field services workforce. How can states do this?
Lean into the gig economy and attract millennials.
There is no question that the field service industry is experiencing a talent shortage and a large part of that has been attributed to trouble attracting millennial workers.
Millennials just starting their careers are valuing individual expression, personal impact, personal fulfillment, and freelance work. The last due to the emergence of the gig economy.
By leaning into the gig economy and adopting new technology trends, like those offered by Housecall Pro, to manage workflows and create flexible training and working environments, millennials may begin to choose field services as their career at a higher rate.
Women held 51% of all management positions in 2018 and similarly with female field service employee representation, we can see (based on Housecall Pro’s proprietary data) that some states have more female admins representation than others.
States with the highest percentages of female admins:
States with the lowest percentages of female admins:
North Dakota (5%)
South Dakota (7%)
How to Succeed and Rise to the Top
Interested in breaking into the industry? Not sure where to start? We asked the Lady Pro community for their advice and they did not disappoint. Here are the top three tips for success in the field services industry.
Top Tip #1 - Communication, Communication, Communication
“Working in other fields for 20 years taught me great customer service and sales skills which have been the true key to my success and growth. Operating with the utmost professionalism and great communication skills.”
Melissa Arvizu, Commercial and Home Cleaning
“I’m successful because I give the same respect to my potential and current clients the respect I would want from a contractor. I communicate extremely well, I’m honest, respectful, transparent and I do a great job. Plus, I think being a handy tradeswoman is helpful because many people are attracted to this and want a woman tradesperson in their home. Just speaking from experience.”
Lindsey Snyder, General Contracting
Top Tip #2 - Learn the Different Parts of the Business
“I started answering phones a couple of days a month. As far as succeeding in my career, I read a lot and I mean a lot of manuals, tech books, and any refresher course I could take. The excitement of wanting to be better, learning all the different things that involve heating and air.”
Reba Fay, HVAC
“Work! Focus on the job at hand. Put the cell phone down. Learn from the more experienced people. Learn your job and learn about other people’s jobs. Work hard and learn as much as possible. Don’t get involved in workplace drama.”
Cheryl Francik, General Contracting
Top Tip #3 - Take Risks
“What I’ve learned from this unexpected journey is that it is true - you can always remake yourself no matter what age you are - and that there are always all kinds of opportunities for us women if we are willing to take the risk either by choice or necessity.”
Pam Hampton, Pool Care
“Just DO it! Don’t overthink it, jump right in. Never stop learning. Be passionate about what you are doing. As a woman boss and fence installer, I get doubted from time to time. My best defense is a huge smile and a very strong work ethic. Focus on quality, really know your job and always be kind... that's how we can change the way some people see women in trades.”
Nikki Hage, Fence Installation
Companies Creating Professional Communities for Women and Additional Resources
Women are embracing their futures through hard work and dedication, but it takes a community and time to succeed. Housecall Pro’s Lady Pros are one community that has become a global movement to unite and empower women of the trades to take pride in their craft, build a legacy and ignite change for future generations. With a few clicks, you can be apart of this movement.
In addition to the great work the Lady Pros are doing, here are a few fantastic female communities and resources to take your career to the next level:
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