- Isabell McGuire’s TikTok account focuses on her journey to becoming an electrician.
- Her videos are popular, but can lead to sexist comments which reflect her offline experience too.
- She continues to share her story to inspire other women to join the industry, she told Insider.
A TikToker has gained nearly 200,000 followers and millions of views with videos about her life as an aspiring electrician, which she posts to try and bust sexist stereotypes about her profession.
Isabell McGuire, who is 17 and based in Manchester, England, told Insider that while she’d been posting TikTok videos for “years,” she never expected her electrician content to blow up like it did.
But going viral hasn’t been easy for McGuire, especially as people have questioned her abilities and judged her based on her looks.
Despite the challenges, she told Insider she plans to continue posting in order to inspire other women to get into the industry and to share her “open and honest” experience being a female electrician.
While studying to be an electrician, McGuire has faced sexism both on and offline
It was McGuire’s dad, also an electrician, who inspired her to follow in his footsteps. After taking McGuire out to one of his jobs, he mentioned that there aren’t many women in the industry, and she felt there was an opportunity there.
“There are women who don’t want a man in the house or there are women who can’t have a man in the house for religious reasons. I want to be able to make women feel comfortable in their own home and help them with whatever electrician work they need to be done,” McGuire told Insider.
She is currently studying at a technical college to become a qualified electrician and said she is the “only girl” in her class. “A lot of the guys, they were quite shocked that I was in there,” she said.
She said she often gets high grades in her work and exams, which can sometimes bother her male classmates who imply that she isn’t deserving of the grade.
McGuire also receives negative comments on TikTok from viewers questioning her abilities and skills as an electrician and whether she can do the job as well as a man, especially if she’s filming TikToks from electrician jobs – which she goes on both with her dad and as part of her course.
She’s had comments saying she should be careful about “breaking a nail” during work and questioning whether she could even concentrate on the electrical work if she was busy filming.
McGuire has also experienced what she describes as objectification and sexual harassment in the comments underneath some of her TikTok videos. They range from repeatedly telling McGuire that she’s “beautiful” to asking her to “plug” their “socket,” as well as saying that they feel “a spark” with her.
McGuire said, “I don’t respond to those comments. They think that it’s very out there for a woman to do what they would call a man’s job, which they see as totally wrong, and they especially think that because of the way I look,” she said, adding, “Just because I take care of myself and look nice doesn’t mean I can’t do the job.”
Despite the challenges, she plans to keep posting about her journey to inspire other women
At first, the negative TikTok comments did bother McGuire, she told Insider, making her feel like she might not be able to become an electrician after all. But as time has gone on she’s been able to learn to ignore them and focus on building her career. “It’s something I want to do. I love it and I know I can do it,” she said.
Her dad loves her TikTok videos, she said. “He thinks it’s amazing how it’s blown up and how people are inspired by it. I see so many women in the comments saying ‘Oh My God, I want to do this.’”
McGuire is excited to see comments and messages from viewers that say she is helping other people to feel “confident,” and hopes that this will pave the way forward for “more women in the industry later on.”
McGuire told Insider she will continue to make TikToks but she also has wider ambitions: “I want to start my own company called Pink Power. I want it to offer comprehensive training for women and they can go to jobs together and can inspire more women to get into the industry.”
She said, “Posting on TikTok and getting such a good reaction has been amazing. I never expected it but it’s something I’ve always talked about and I’m glad my content is inspiring other people.”
For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.