2% of apprentices are women: Far too few

This week’s report from an Oireachtas committee that recorded that only 2% of apprenticeships are undertaken by women is a reality check showing that the glass ceiling has a cousin — a glass perimeter excluding women from certain careers.

Those who feel precluded from becoming an apprentice are unlikely to be encouraged by a Government-commissioned review which this week recommended that the boards of the 20 biggest publicly-quoted companies should be at least 33% female within four years, while women should make up at least a quarter of the directors of other Irish listed companies. 

They are more interested in getting in the door rather than up the ladder.

The physical limitations that once made some trades male-only are less relevant now so the limitation seems psychological — or is it? 

Are workplaces as welcoming to female apprentices as they should be? 

Or are too many trades, like politics, structured in a way that discourages women? 

We can hardly accept a situation where a woman’s work never begins.

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