Here at eve workwear, we have been thinking about the effect of social media. Recently, one of our eve ambassadors, Kahlyn Pryor (@sparky_kp), posted a review of our Sharp Shorts on her Instagram account (she had some very kind words to say by the way, you can check out the post here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAUXaLjlw4z/). This post started quite the conversation and we’re so glad it did.
Now, most of the comments were those of affirmation, sharing their support of Kahlyn and their own love of the Sharp Shorts. We all know that in the age of social media, it is crucial to focus on positive comments, but negativity can be hard to shut out. Kahlyn found herself with a few sexist and demeaning comments, with some men insinuating that because she is a woman in trades, that she should not be taken seriously or that she should not be wearing shorts on the worksite. Let’s be clear, we are not saying that all men share these views. In fact, we have had some incredibly supportive mentors who have taught us our trades and we are so grateful to them. Unfortunately, there are a select few who are not as encouraging.
One myth that was shared in the comment section of Kahlyn’s post is that workwear should be functional (we agree!) but it cannot look and feel great at the same time. For too long, women in trades had to wear men’s clothing on the work site. It was not made for them, it was uncomfortable and made them feel ostracised. Our workwear is made with functionality and protection in mind, but we also believe that workwear should be flattering as well, because if it makes the wearer feel good, then why not? When we say flattering, we don’t mean to get the attention of anyone else on site, we mean to boost the confidence levels of the incredible women who wear our clothing.
A comment appeared that condemned Kahlyn for wearing shorts, and while we understand this is not always appropriate for every worksite, she rightly responded with, “every guy I work with wears shorts, why can’t I?” The commenter also remarked that she was using this post as an excuse to show off, rather than understanding the actual intention of the post, to review our shorts and inform other female tradies who appreciated the honest feedback.
This particular comment saw a range of women, including our very own eve sisters Tayla (@leckychick) and Lara (@larzythesparky), respond by sharing their own personal experience with workwear and life as a woman in trades. Honestly, we could not be prouder of our community.
Social media can sometimes breed negativity, but more often than not, we can use it to spread the stories of incredible women and lift each other up. Our Australia’s Proudest Women in Trades competition earlier in the year is a great example of this. We wanted to use our platform to highlight some incredible women who were following their dreams and achieving great things. Plus, you all loved hearing their stories! The plan is to make the competition an annual event, even making it international.
Another way we are trying to use social media for good, is our Like Minded Tradies Facebook group. It is a community of women in trades, where you can introduce yourself, chat about your work and goals, and ask any questions. There have been some really insightful conversations in the group and we can’t wait to grow in the years to come! Haven’t joined? Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/likemindedtradies/
Overall, social media is a great place for people of similar interests to connect, share their experiences and boost each other up. To all the women in trades, keep sharing your journeys on social media, keep fighting back when people criticise you and keep killing it out there – we can’t wait to see what you all do next!