Bridgette Elder is an electrician who turned her trade into her own business. She is now the manger of Bri’Lectrics in Melbourne, Australia. She and her team and turning the tide on tradie culture and Bridgette herself is a great role model for young women who prefer to tinker with their toys.
When did you first become interested in electronics and decide to become an electrician?
I first become interested in electronics in grade 5 actually. We did a little 12v circuit in class for a project and I have been hooked ever since.
Did you face many barriers along the way that your male peers did not?
Not particularly, besides the difference coming from an all girls high school to an all boys tafe school that was difficult within itself. Other than that the guys I worked with really looked out for me, so I really didn’t have any problems
Do you ever get strange reactions when you turn up on a work-site or at a house and the client is not expecting a female tradie?
When I first stated my own business and turned up to peoples door steps there was a few negative reactions here and there and constant questions to ensure that I was the actual qualified electrician doing the work. Now to avoid all that I simply advertise that I am a female electrician so people know exactly what they are getting.
What is the best part of your job?
I love all the parts of my job but my favourite would be the satisfaction of looking at the house once the job is done and knowing that my team and I did the work.
How do you think we can encourage more young women to get involved in the trades and construction industry?
We need to get more awareness & more advertising out there in the community. Possibly have more female tradies do talks at school career days…