Traditionally, the trade industry in the UK has always been dominated by men. But over the past few years, the number of women in trade jobs has increased significantly, with a 366% rise in younger women enrolling in apprenticeships and pursuing trade careers. The pace of this increase, and the number of women working in construction, rail and engineering jobs has encouraged the safety industry to look at personal protective equipment (PPE) through a fresh workwear design lens.

Previously, women working in labour roles have had to compromise by wearing men’s clothing, which results in ill-fitting workwear and PPE. With men’s garments usually oversized and baggy, the excess fabric can get caught in machinery or interfere with the use of tools, putting women at a higher risk of injury on the job.

Not only does a ‘one style fits all’ pose a safety risk, but fatigue and comfort play a huge part in ensuring work is carried out effectively and efficiently. All employees should be able to perform their duties COMFORTABLY, and that shouldn’t be something that is overlooked. Fortunately, it is now becoming a standard practice for manufacturers to develop tailored woman’s ranges to fit the requirements, and of course standards, that females in labouring jobs face.  

Women in the Workplace

SMI recognises that workwear is never a ‘one style fits all’ and should match the needs of the wearer to ensure the maximum level of comfort and protection is offered. By supplying a broad range of women’s workwear, we can ensure that vital workwear and safety products are more accessible, helping empower women to take charge of being an active force in the workplace.

As one of our equity-based solutions for women, last year SMI’s own brand Rokwear launched the first Ladies Hi-Vis Ballistic Trousers, designed to better fit the female shape, providing better manoeuvrability and improving performance for female workers in industries where hi-vis protection is a necessity to ensure a safer working environment.

Further to this, we have actively responded to increased demand for not just women’s wear but maternity wear as well. Through partnering with suppliers like Leo Workwear, and other well known brands, we can provide our customers with workwear from bump to baby. With features such as elasticated over-bump bands and jacket expanders, these products make life safer and comfortable for the wearer while forging an inclusive work culture for our clients.

What can you do to support Women in the Workplace?

As employers, it is your duty to guarantee the correct fitting workwear, hi vis, and PPE is available to ALL your employees. The great news is you can access a wide woman’s range across multiple suppliers through SMI and our online portal.

Speak to our team to discuss your workplace requirements, and ensure you support your female operatives by giving them the workwear they deserve!

Woman in the workplace