More than a quarter of Welsh home owners would rather hire a female builder than a male builder, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
Key results from the FMB research into opinions on female builders and tradespeople include:
• More than one quarter (28%) of home owners in Wales 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.
• Of those people in Wales who felt more positive about hiring a female builder, the reasons were as follows:
- 39% think female tradespeople might be more respectful of their home;
- 39% would like to support more women working in non-traditional job roles;
- 39% might feel more at ease with a female tradesperson;
- 33% think female tradespeople might be more trustworthy;
- 30% think women often have better attention to detail than men;
- 27% think female tradespeople might be friendlier;
- 15% relate better to other women;
- 9% prefer the company of women;
- 9% it would be a novelty and a welcome change to hire a female builder.
• Despite feeling more positive about hiring a female tradesperson, ten times fewer people in Wales would encourage their daughter to pursue a career in construction than their sons.
• Nearly two thirds (64%) of the general public in Wales 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, Ifan Glyn, Director of FMB Cymru, said: “Welsh home owners are crying out for more female tradespeople. More than a quarter of home owners in Wales 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. Comparatively just eight per cent would feel less positive about hiring a female tradesperson. There are many reasons why people hold such positive attitudes towards female tradespeople. Well over one third believe that female builders might be more respectful of their home and the same figure thinks they would be more at ease with a women carrying out a project. This new research shows that households across Wales have an appetite for more female tradespeople and we therefore need to encourage more women to embark on a rewarding career in construction.”
Glyn continued: “Although we know that there’s a massive demand for more women tradespeople, worryingly, just two percent of tradespeople in the UK are women. What’s more, ten times fewer people in Wales would encourage their daughter to pursue a career in construction than their sons. This is an outdated perception of gender and job roles. Today is International Women’s Day, and it’s time that young women, their parents and their schools realise that a rewarding career in construction is an option for everyone – men and women alike.”
Rachel Greenley of Harriet Lee Building & Renovation Ltd, said: “As a woman working in construction, female clients often comment that it’s reassuring to have me on the end of the phone and at site. They feel I understand what they are trying to achieve. Construction is a male-dominated environment and I like to be able to contribute a female perspective. There are so many skills and staff shortages in construction that the industry must start to look to the female half of the population to fill those gaps and that’s great for women. Pay is good, there are plenty of employment opportunities and there is ample work available for tradespeople all over Wales and the UK.”