WIT and wisdom at installer conference

WIT and wisdom at installer conference

PHPI reports from the first Women Installers Together (WIT) Conference, organised by Stopcocks.

It’s estimated that women make up just 1% of plumbers and only 0.3% of gas engineers. And for one day – in terms of those out on the tools – these extraordinarily low numbers were lower still, as women from the trades gathered in Central London for the inaugural Women Installers Together Conference.

Drawing its speakers from the spheres of installation, manufacturing and marketing, the event offered some fascinating insights into managing conflict, building a brand and overcoming the many hurdles that women face when it comes to building a career in the trade.

The speakers
The headline speaker was Hattie Hasan, founder of Stopcocks Women Plumbers and a regular contributor to PHPI over the years, who captivated the audience with the tale of her life and the obstacles she overcame in order to carve out a plumbing career and set up Stopcocks. With three decades in the trade behind her, Hattie continues to seek to pass on the benefit of her knowledge and experience to the next generation.

The day began with Jazz Jones from Polypipe discussing conflict management and inviting the attendees to assess their own approaches to handling confrontation in a variety of situations – which was a slightly uncomfortable process for some of those present!

Katie Beesley from SLG then offered her perspective on branding strategies and how a brand is so much more than an eye-catching log and clever strapline – it’s about personality too.

The sponsors
The event was backed by a number of leading manufacturers, including Vaillant, Spirotech, Fernox, Polypipe, Bristan, and Roca.

The ethos
“The conference presents the perfect forum for members of the industry to discuss some of the challenges facing female heating installers today, and identify ways in which we can work together to support them in growing their businesses and developing their skills.” Alice Woolley, Marketing Director, Vaillant

“As soon as I heard about the WIT Conference, I wanted to support Stopcocks! Being a woman in a male dominated industry, I fully support this initiative.” Corine Kuijpers, Spirotech UK

“Fernox is continually looking to support equal opportunities within the plumbing and heating sector. By sponsoring the WIT conference, we hope to encourage more women into the plumbing and heating industry and celebrate the inspiring achievements of female plumbing and heating installers.” Francine Wickham, Fernox Global Marketing Director, Fernox

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