Written by Georgina Williams, 8th March 2022
I already recognised JCB workwear as a brand that produces good quality clothing and footwear that is durable and comfortable but my experience was limited to a few certain products that I had decided were suitable for me as a woman. Work boots, socks, a hoodie and a beanie hat tended to be my go-to kit. Therefore, I was excited to get hold of wider selection of some of their products to review from a female perspective for International Women’s Day on 8th March this year.
My job as a JCB Test Driver involves working 12 hour shifts operating heavy machinery in a quarry environment and my time ‘off work’ is spent working on my home renovations – so it’s safe to say that I need my clothing to be comfortable, versatile and durable! As a woman, this is something I have struggled to find within a reasonable budget so I was therefore really looking forward to testing out some more of the JCB Workwear range to see how this might work for me.
I’m proud to be the first female to do the job that I do for my company, but this meant that when starting my role as a machine operator I was offered the same clothing options as my male colleagues as they hadn’t had considered women’s workwear options in the past. Not surprisingly, the trousers provided never quite fit right and even when we tried suppliers that offer women sizes, they often still weren’t right – it was like they had just taken the men’s pair and stuck ladies sizing on it! I did eventually find some comfortable ladies workwear trousers but they came with a higher price tag so I still found myself frustrated as they just aren’t a feasible option for all women.
The Trade Hybrid Stretch Trousers are a game-changer!
Based on my previous experience, I was cautious when opening up the JCB Trade Hybrid Stretch trousers in men’s size 32R, but I was genuinely surprised by how well these trousers fit me! The stretchy material meant that they fit my hips and waist really well and are so comfortable. Despite being men’s sizing, it’s clear that they have been designed with the consideration that both men and women could love these trousers!
I love that JCB Workwear is designed not only for comfort but also for style which is a big consideration for me when choosing workwear. The 1945 Sitemaster Waterproof Jacket is a perfect example of this. In a trendy grey colour, it is light weight, super comfy, stylish fitting and has pockets in all the right places! I don’t know what it is about pockets that just makes me so happy but it my opinion a Tradie Lady can never have enough pockets – it’s often a joke within my family that if I ever get married my wedding dress will need to have pockets!
I like to look good both on and offsite.
With the busy life I lead and due to working most weekends, my social life is usually not at the forefront of my mind! I therefore often end up making last minute plans and heading straight out to meet friends or family in the pub on a Friday or Saturday night. Strolling straight into the bar from a day in the quarry I used to find myself apologising for my attire due to feeling scruffy as I hadn’t packed a change of clothes but wearing my JCB Workwear gear I can safely strut into the bar feeling pretty smart without even having to change.
The right clothing has the power to inspire a generation.
A real added bonus for me is that wearing JCB Workwear is a conversation-sparker giving me the opportunity to talk about my job as people recognise the JCB name that I’m wearing. I love talking about what I do and sharing my story to hopefully contribute towards to shift in mindsets around women in my industry and I’m also optimistic that it could inspire other young women to consider a career in construction or in a trade.
International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the amazing and inspirational women in our lives and in the world around us. Additionally, we can reflect upon how far we have come and be thankful for the sacrifices made throughout history that have allowed us to live in a society where a woman can be accepted to work in construction and in the trades. And thanks to JCB Workwear she can also look pretty badass doing it in affordable, practical and comfortable clothing!
You can follow more of my story on my Instagram page @jcb_diggergirl