As part of a major national media drive, WaterSafe has launched a new MP-backed consumer campaign to encourage more women to take up the trade.
The campaign, ‘Get Girls Plumbing’, is fronted by TV presenter and consumer expert Alice Beer. It is aimed at encouraging more females to take up plumbing roles while also discouraging gender stereotyping in the trade sector. It has received full support from Maria Miller, the Minister for Women and Equalities.
The campaign launch (20 March) followed new research carried out by WaterSafe, which found that nearly two thirds of homeowners (60%) would feel positive about more women taking up a trade role. In addition, 80% said they are completely unconcerned as to the gender of their plumber and it’s all about them doing a good-quality job.
Despite homeowners not being concerned whether their plumber is male or female, WaterSafe believes there is still a significantly large gender gap in the plumbing industry. According to the company, the most recent figures show that less than 1% of approved plumbers are female.
“Clearly, the results are quite surprising and show that, despite impartiality from the consumer, women remain severely under-represented in the plumbing industry," said WaterSafe's Julie Spinks. "Here, our remit is to break such stereotyping and promote the exciting opportunities available to women in the plumbing sector.”
The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is fully supportive of the new campaign.
“The results of the survey undertaken by WaterSafe clearly show that girls need to be made aware of the full range of career options open to them, including trade apprenticeships," said chief executive officer of CIPHE Kevin Wellman.
Career guidance at school is very important and advisors need to realise that we need a more balanced workforce. Girls should be given the same advice and opportunities as boys.
“Career guidance at school is very important and advisors need to realise that we need a more balanced workforce. Girls should be given the same advice and opportunities as boys.”