A third of homeowners would prefer a female tradesperson

A third of UK homeowners 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:

• almost one third (30%) of homeowners 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

• women feel particularly positive about hiring female builders with 35% saying they would feel more positive about hiring a female builder or tradesperson to complete a task in their home

• of those who felt more positive about hiring a female builder, the reasons were as follows:
– 51% think female tradespeople might be more respectful of their home
– 46% would like to support more women working in non-traditional job roles
– 42% might feel more at ease with a female tradesperson
– 37% think female tradespeople might be more trustworthy
– 35% think female tradespeople might be friendlier
– 30% think women often have better attention to detail than men
– 20% prefer the company of women
– 18% relate better to other women
– 16% would be a novelty and a welcome change to hire a female builder

• despite feeling more positive about hiring a female tradesperson, 30% fewer people would encourage their daughter to pursue a career in construction than their sons

• nearly two-thirds of the general public are ‘gender blind’ when choosing their builder or tradesperson and wouldn’t care whether they were a man or a woman

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “There’s a clear appetite among consumers for more women to enter the building industry with one third of homeowners saying they would rather hire a female builder. There are numerous reasons for this and chief among them is that these homeowners feel that female tradespeople might be more respectful of their home.

“Consumers are also keen to support more women working in non-traditional job roles which is a breath of fresh air. However, there’s a serious gap in the market here as currently only two percent of tradespeople are women.”

Brian also said the construction industry is facing a skills shortage and that attracting women into construction is an obvious move.

“Despite feeling more positive about hiring a female tradesperson, 30% fewer people would encourage their daughter to pursue a career in construction than their sons,” Brian said.” In 2018, this attitude is outdated and denies thousands of women a potentially rewarding career.”

Debi Sporn, from Sporn Construction, who has worked in construction for more than 16 years, said: “The public perception of the construction industry is changing but not quickly enough. As a woman working in construction, I’m able to bring a different perspective to our firm and how it operates. Not only that, clients to seem respond well to the fact that our company employs both men and women. Construction is an exciting sector to work in and I would absolutely recommend pursuing a career in our industry.”