Eloise Lawrence is challenging gender stereotypes as she conquers the trade industry. 

Eloise, who has gone from working with horses to a manager in operatives, hopes her story will encourage more women to take up the typically male-dominated profession.

She joined LiveWest as an Apprentice in Operative Management over two years ago which gave her the confidence and experience to recently secure a Lead Technician role. 

Eloise, 28, said: “For me, repairing homes is always going to be a good career to get into because it’s more economical and there are always improvements needed,” she said. “But it’s also about how we can work better as a team with diversity because historically, it is predominantly a male industry.

“We need to be more equal and diverse as well as moving with the times. It is the 21st century so women can do such a good job and we can learn to do the skills needed in the trade.

“Hopefully there won’t always be a stigma. Even though we are not as tall and strong as men, there is no reason with training and different tools, we can still do the same work.”

After leaving school at 16 and going on to work with horses, Eloise had no previous background in trade. She spent over two years travelling in Australia where she had many jobs and after returning, decided to apply to LiveWest for an Apprentice scheme after being unsure on a future career. 

Looking up our company values and what LiveWest stand for, Eloise thought she might make a good fit. 

She added: “I’ve been able to learn on the job and it’s really good to now see the other side and get the operatives’ views. It is also bridging that gap where we can complete our work better and give better experiences to our customers.

“Going out and seeing something from start to finish is great and getting to communicate with our customers. I get to see the whole process now, even if it’s something little like a repair, it will make things better for our customers.

“With the operatives, it’s about seeing them succeed and hearing them coming back to say, ‘I smashed that’ which is giving them pride and motivating them. It’s good they have the support here and drive to succeed.”

Eloise, who lives in Penryn in Cornwall, feels an apprenticeship is a great chance to try things if you’re unsure about what career to pursue. The scheme allowed her to explore her options as she progressed from an office-based role to field-based work where she could meet customers face-to-face and get a personal experience.

She believes our organisation can bring the best out of any person and provide a host of opportunities for women to flourish.

Eloise said: “I’ve noticed a lot more diversity out there and women should go out and do it. They have nothing to lose but obviously, it isn’t for everyone. But it’s a really good thing with a lot of opportunities especially for people unsure of what they want to do.

“It’s a useful life skill even if you don’t carry it on as a job, you can keep it with you. It’s really good to see women in trade slowly creeping in, so I hope it does continue.” 

We’re encouraging women to take on plumbing, bricklaying, and carpentry as part of a drive to increase the number of females within its trades’ workforce.

A taster day will be on September 8 at South Devon College, Paignton, to help women decide if a career in a trade might be for them.

Following the taster day, we will be recruiting several apprentices in a range of trades across the organisation.