The women are taking over Blåkläder – a new, more extensive womenswear range will even things out
There are few women in the construction industry, something that is also reflected in the selection of workwear available. Blåkläder’s motto, “dressed right, safe and stylish, inside and out” does not discriminate between the genders. Which is why the company from Svenljunga, Sweden is expanding its womenswear range. Helping them are some of the sharpest experts in the world – professional tradeswomen who already work in the industry.
Although major efforts are being made to attract women to the industry, they are still in the minority across the board. For many reasons. But Blåkläder believes that there should at least be equal opportunities when it comes to workwear.
“Product development within workwear for women is lagging behind. All tradespeople should be able to find clothes that measure up when it comes to fit, function and quality. Having equal opportunities also sends the right signals to women who want to study a particular trade,” says Peter Mönhage, Country Manager for Sweden at Blåkläder.
Both Peab, one of the leading construction and civil engineering companies in Scandinavia, and JM, Scandinavia’s leading housing and residential project developers, stress that greater diversity is a matter of survival for the entire industry. JM is one of the companies aiming for 20 percent of their tradespeople being women by 2030.
“We can see that the number of women at site management level is growing, but not to the desired extent among tradespeople yet. Blåkläder’s womenswear venture is important. These days, being able to offer women the same options as men is a hygiene factor for being a respectable employer,” says Mona Backlund, Group Work Environment Manager at JM.
Maria Hernroth, Group Equality and Diversity Manager at Peab agrees, “It is absolutely necessary that we do everything we can to prevent gender labelling the various different roles, and instead recruit from both genders to all of the positions in the company. There is a major demand for a specially-developed range of workwear for women and we welcome Blåkläder’s new venture.”
Blåkläder’s driving force lies in the challenge of developing products that make tradespeople’s daily life safer, simpler and more comfortable. There are several stages to the womenswear venture, and one of the goals is to be able to offer a wider range with a better fit.
“A lot of women find workwear big and bulky. This is where we need to get them more comfortable and lightweight without losing important certifications, which is a prerequisite for end customers being able to work in them. This is a problem when it comes to things like hi-vis clothing, where a major challenge will be finding new, creative solutions,” explains Rose-Marie Näsström, Product Developer at Blåkläder.
An important element of Blåkläder’s new venture is appointing a test panel to evaluate the range. So a recruitment campaign has been created in order to identify female test pilots who spend time in their workwear on a daily basis. Recruitment will be carried out via the company’s website in all of the countries that Blåkläder operates. The test pilots will be contacted on an ongoing basis, starting in autumn 2016.
This is just one of the elements in Blåkläder’s ambitious plan to achieve the ideal fit, quality and functionality.
For further information, please contact:
Kalle Larsson, Global Marketing Manager, Blåkläder
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: +46 702187333