Taking Big Strides In Women’s Work Boots
Female representation in trades, mining and agriculture has been too low for too long. Now the number of women in the trades workforce is rising, which is good for women, the workforce overall, and the economy.
UNSW research estimates that improving women’s workforce participation rate, especially in male-dominated industries, could boost Australia’s GDP by $25 billion.
As the leaders in ladies’ work boots in Australia and New Zealand, we’re pleased to see participation rates rising through the years. With more women entering trades and technical roles, Steel Blue has the safety boots to help them succeed.
Fast facts: Gender diversity in trades and technical roles
Mining, construction and manufacturing together make up nearly 25% of Australia’s economic output. In New Zealand, similar sectors (construction, warehousing and transport, and agriculture) account for 15% of GDP.
And yet, just 2% of Australian tradies are female. Here’s how that number breaks down:
- Women in construction roles increased by 34%, from 44,583 in 2015 to 59,587 in 2020
- Female construction apprentice numbers rose 115% from 2010 to 2020
- In the mining sector, women account for 4.5% of technicians, 11.1% of machinery operators and 13% of labourers
- 13% of New Zealand’s total construction industry is female
- Only 2.6% of tradespeople in New Zealand are women
What do work boots have to do with gender diversity?
Unfortunately, too many women working in trades are still working in ill-fitting safety gear, either because the options aren’t available locally or simply don’t exist. Without the proper safety equipment, women looking to take up a trade face very real barriers, not least of which is on-site safety.
Thankfully, the days of women resorting to “unisex” boots are behind us. Steel Blue is continuing to grow its ladies boot range offering boot styles to suit most industries.
Steel Blue ladies’ work boots are engineered for comfort and safety, with a range of technical features specific to a woman’s stride.
Modelled on a woman’s last
Women’s safety boots are typically made based on the shape of a male’s foot. The footwear mould, or last, that women’s safety boots are designed on is generally a graded version of the male last, meaning that it doesn’t take the form of the female foot into account. This can make the footwear uncomfortable and unsafe as it doesn’t cater to the differences in men’s and women’s feet. To ensure that all Steel Blue safety boot wearers experience our legendary safety, comfort and durability, Steel Blue developed a last specifically suited to women’s feet. The last represents the anatomical differences in the female foot, incorporating a smaller instep length and circumference.
Better support all round
Our safety footwear engineers found women tend to have a narrower instep with a smaller circumference, shallower first toe, higher arch and shorter foot length overall. Steel Blue ladies’ boots feature a smaller instep and shorter length for a uniquely comfortable fit.
Proper ankle support is a crucial part of injury prevention. So our women’s safety boots feature shorter ankle lengths to allow mobility without compromising on safety. This applies to the entire ladies’ boot range, including Lace-Up, Zip Sided and Pull-On styles, and boots with added safety features like Electrical Hazard protection and Penetration Resistance.
Find your perfect fit with our wide range of women’s work boots
As more women step into traditionally male-dominated careers, Steel Blue is here to support them. Our ladies’ fit safety boots are specially designed to be comfortable, safe and stylish for every woman – just like our men’s safety boots are for the blokes.
With Steel Blue’s strong focus on comfort and durability, the APA’s endorsement recognises the technological advancements of Steel Blue work boots that help protect the wearer from stress-related injuries to the ankles, knees, hips and spine.
Steel Blue boots are available in a range of colours to suit your style, including pink and purple boots where $10 from every pair sold is donated directly to help support Breast Cancer Care WA, and blue boots with $10 from every pair sold donated directly to support Beyond Blue.