The Federation of Master Builders

More than a quarter of Scottish home owners would prefer female tradespeople

Published date: 08 March 2018

More than a quarter of Scottish home owners would rather hire a female builder, as opposed to a male builder, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Key results from the FMB’s research into opinions on female builders and tradespeople include:

• More than one quarter (27.9%) of Scottish home owners would feel more positive about hiring a female builder or tradesperson to complete a task in their home, as opposed to a male builder or tradesperson. This compares with:
- A UK average of 30.3%;
- 38.1% in NI;
- 37.8% in London;
- 28.5% in Wales;

• Of those Scots who felt more positive about hiring a female builder, the reasons were as follows:
- 56% would like to support more women working in non-traditional job roles;
- 49% think female tradespeople might be more respectful of their home;
- 49% might feel more at ease with a female tradesperson;
- 36% think female tradespeople might be friendlier;
- 33% think women often have better attention to detail than men;
- 31% think female tradespeople might be more trustworthy;
- 27% prefer the company of women;
- 25% it would be a novelty and a welcome change to hire a female builder.
- 18% relate better to other women;

• Despite feeling more positive about hiring a female tradesperson, 61% fewer people in Scotland would encourage their daughter to pursue a career in construction than their sons;

• Nearly two thirds (65%) of the general public in Scotland are ‘gender blind’ when choosing their builder or tradesperson and wouldn’t care whether they were a man or a woman.

Commenting on the research, Gordon Nelson, Director of FMB Scotland, said: “There’s a huge demand for more women tradespeople among Scottish home owners. New FMB research shows that more than one quarter of Scottish home owners would feel more positive about hiring a female builder or tradesperson to complete a task in their home, as opposed to a male builder or tradesperson. Refreshingly, over half of these home owners in Scotland would like to support more women working in non-traditional job roles. What’s more, nearly as many people maintain that female tradespeople might be more respectful of their home and would feel more at ease with a woman tradesperson. There is clearly an appetite for more women tradespeople in Scotland and with International Women’s Day upon us, we are imploring more young women to consider a career in our sector. Indeed, just two percent of the tradespeople across the UK are women and it’s high time we rectified this.”

Nelson concluded: “Although the research does demonstrate a change in the public’s perception of the construction industry, we question whether this change is happening widely enough. When asked whether they would feel more positive about hiring a female builder or tradesperson to complete a task in their home, Scots reported lower numbers of people feeling more positive than anywhere else in the UK. By way of comparison, ten percent more home owners in Northern Ireland and London would feel positive about hiring a female tradesperson. Also, despite feeling more positive about hiring a female tradesperson, almost sixty five percent fewer people would encourage their daughter to pursue a career in construction than their sons. This attitude is outdated and is robbing a multitude of women access to an extremely rewarding sector. We fully encourage young people, men and women alike, to consider a career in construction.”

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