PHPI’s Stuart Duff speaks to Lauren Winter to find out how her first few months in the trade have been.
How long have you been in the trade and what inspired you to become a plumber?
I had started college in September 2017, however had only felt confident enough to find work and work outside of the college from April this year. This has mainly been with Lee Hughes Building Ltd – working from April to June on a voluntary basis.
Has becoming a plumber given you a different outlook on life?
Plumbing has mentally matured me, I believe. I now feel as if I have a strong future ahead whereas before I started plumbing this time last year I was unsure where I was aiming. I believe I now have an overall better ability to see danger and I feel like I’m now more forward thinking in not only plumbing but life outside of work too.
Have you encountered any resistance as a woman in the trade?
The only resistance I’ve found was at the beginning as I tried to find work whilst on the college course. I found myself to be laughed at by a few people for wanting to do a “male trade”.
Having felt like I had to prove myself, I bought myself a van and a select amount of tools – which is now ever expanding at a steady rate.
I get a lot of respect from tradesmen and feel they listen to my views from a female perspective. I have found myself in a position to liaise with the customer the majority of the time as not only am I a work person in their house, but also a friendly face who is approachable and we can discuss at a steady rate any problems and solutions. We seem to have a good understanding as females… I’m trying to not sound sexist!
What do you believe can be done to encourage more women into the industry?
I aim to help promote the industry myself by offering support to any female where she may have any questions and offer the honest stories and true difficulties and possible ways around this to anyone with questions. I am early in my career but already feel I can help a lot of females onto the plumbing pathway.
Follow Lauren on Twitter: @Loz_Winter