AJ's Plumbing and Gas employee Kirsty Train.
AJ's Plumbing and Gas employee Kirsty Train. Kevin Farmer

Female plumber 'not surprised' male tradies preferred

PLUMBER Kirsty Train has had customers walk right past her to speak with her apprentices.

So she's not surprised to hear that three out of four Australians would not hire a female tradesperson.

Research from website ServiceSeeking.com.au revealed 82% of customers asked across Australia never hired a female tradie, and 75% would choose a man over a woman.

Mrs Train, who is one of fewer than a handful of female plumbers across the region, said while the results were "annoying" there was a good reason for them being so skewed.

"If you had 50-50 male to female plumbers, that number wouldn't be as high, but that's not how it is," the employee of AJ's Plumbing and Gas said.

"There are over 100 listed plumbers in Toowoomba and less than 2% would be females.

"I don't think it's a personal thing - it's just the way that it's always been.

"I'm not surprised, but annoyed."

The statistics, based on a survey of more than 2800 ServiceSeeking customers, found plumbing and electrical work were the most popular fields for female tradies, and that Generation Y customers were the most likely age bracket to hire a woman.

While it remained a male-dominated industry, Mrs Train said she was noticing a gradual change in people's attitudes over her 10-year plumbing career.

"It's definitely changing, because previous customers are now recommending you to other people," she said.

"It's becoming more normal and acceptable.

"You can't just go in and be accepted, but now that I've been doing it a while people know who I am and that I do a good job."



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