In celebration of International Women's Day 2021, we have launched a new initiative alongside seven of the most well-known organisations in housing to encourage more women into trade roles. Will you #choosetochallenge?

Over the years, we’ve had a number of conversations with housing associations, landlords and local authorities about allowing residents to request a tradeswomen operative in their home. The answer has always been no. While adding the functionality to our platform is easy enough, there are simply not enough tradeswomen in the industry to allow us to make it a reality. In fact, just two percent of tradespeople in the country are women. That is a shocking statistic that has barely changed in 40 years. So, we decided now was the time to change it and today, on International Women’s Day, we are launching the Women’s Trade Network

The significant gender imbalance in trade has not gone unnoticed throughout the housing industry and our conversations led us to many like-minded organisations and individuals also passionate about making a change. And so the Women’s Trade Network was born.

Founded by Plentific, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), Peabody, Notting Hill Genesis, L&Q, Places for People, Women’s Pioneer Housing and Direct Works the network’s mission is simple -  to increase the representation of women in trade roles. Open to any women in the UK, irrespective of her age, background, experience, or employment status, our programme will offer both entry-level training for women entering the industry, as well as advise on the wealth of opportunities available throughout the industry, including courses on self-employment. 


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We will only be successful if we make a change industry-wide and so we are asking businesses from across housing, trade, property, construction and more to join us and sign our pledge to remove barriers, empower and support and increase access for women in trade. 

The Women's Trade Network Pledge

Remove Barriers 

  • Commit to ensuring an inclusive workplace, offering flexible working arrangements, equal pay and equal opportunities
  • Commit to sharing best practices with fellow Women’s Trade Network organisations, as well as the wider industry, to support long term change in the sector and remove barriers industry-wide

Empower and Support

  • Offer support and help to build a network of role models and mentors for women entering the profession
  • Spread awareness and highlight the variety of roles available to women through our communications channels, partners, networks and residents

Increase Access 

  • Commit to sharing job opportunities, including apprenticeships and traineeships, with women who have been through the programme when a relevant position becomes available
  • Provide residents with the ability to request female-operatives and assign work orders to women in those cases

Joining the network is simple. Just go to our website, fill in your details and the team will come back to you with a welcome pack to support your involvement. On this International Women’s Day, will you #choosetochallenge the status quo and help expand and strengthen the trade industry? 

For more details visit: or get in touch with the team at