Stopcocks hosted the first Women Installers’ Together Conference yesterday in London. It brought together female plumbers and gas engineers from across the UK and Europe to discuss being a female in the industry, learn new skills and network.
Women make up approximately just 1% of all plumbers and 1 in 300 of gas engineers, and this was the first event dedicated to celebrate the achievements of these women.
Hattie Hasan headlined the event with a speech about ‘Making it in a Man’s World’ and discussed her experiences, from not being accepted from over 400 companies when she first qualified, to her current passion of inspiring more women to join the industry.
Other key topics from Hattie’s engaging speech were difficulties entering the industry, sexism from both colleagues and customers, and encouraging young people to join the industry by creating role models.
Hattie said: “I just wanted to be a plumber, and all these things just kept coming to me and at the time it was like ‘you are different’ and I thought, ‘why am I different? I’m just a plumber’ but we [female plumbers] are different.
“I know that equal opportunities will tell us that ‘you’re all the same’ but actually equal opportunities does not mean we are the same. Equal opportunities means equal opportunities and to have a climate so you can reach those equal opportunities.”
In the morning, Jazz Jones from Polypipe spoke about dealing with conflict at work. The presentation went through the different conflict styles and how best to work and resolve conflict with different types of people for both colleagues and customers.
Katie Beesley from SLG Marketing held a short presentations about ‘The Power of Branding’, and how to use a brand to get more customers and build a good reputation.
After lunch and Hattie’s speech, there was a chance to network with the sponsor brands and other attendees. Sponsors present at the event included Fernox, Polypipe, Vaillant, Spirotech, Bristan, Roca, and John Lewis Home Solutions.