The Federation of Master Builders

More than a third of Northern Ireland's home owners would prefer a female tradesperson

Published date: 08 March 2018

More than a third of Northern Ireland’s 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 third (38%) of home owners in NI 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%;
- 37.8% in London;
- 28.5% in Wales;
- 27.9% in Scotland.

• Of those in NI who felt more positive about hiring a female builder, the reasons were as follows:
- 56% think female tradespeople might be more respectful of their home;
- 44% might feel more at ease with a female tradesperson;
- 38% think female tradespeople might be more trustworthy;
- 25% would like to support more women working in non-traditional job roles;
- 25% think female tradespeople might be friendlier;
- 19% think women often have better attention to detail than men;
- 19% relate better to other women;
- 19% it would be a novelty and a welcome change to hire a female builder.

• Over half (57%) of the general public in NI 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, Gavin McGuire, Director of FMB NI, said: “Consumers in Northern Ireland are the most progressive in terms of their attitudes to hiring female tradespeople. Indeed, more than one third of home owners in NI 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 is the highest figure in any part of the UK. By way of comparison, ten percent fewer home owners in Wales and Scotland would feel positive about this. There are a multitude of reasons that NI home owners feel more positive about hiring a female tradesperson. Namely, over half feel female tradespeople might be more respectful of their home and nearly half would feel more at ease with a female tradesperson. It’s a grave shame therefore that just two percent of tradespeople in the UK are women. We need to encourage young women, their parents and their teachers to think differently about the construction industry as clearly there’s an appetite for more female builders among home owners. Today is International Women’s Day and we want to get the word out to the women of Northern Ireland – the construction industry needs you.”

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