Women twice as likely to take charge of building projects

When it comes to making vital decisions regarding building work, women are twice as likely to have the final say on the style and scope of the project, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

In advance of Mother’s Day, the FMB also asked female home owners if they have ever carried out a range of basic DIY tasks around the home and the results were as follows:

  • Almost 80 percent have painted a room
  • 65 percent have put together flat-pack furniture
  • 58 percent have unblocked a sink
  • Over 50 percent have changed a fuse
  • 44 percent have unblocked a toilet
  • Over a quarter have cleared the guttering

Jenny Carter, mum of one from North West London, said “I’m happy to hire a builder for the big jobs but it would cost me a fortune if I had to pay a tradesperson every time I needed to change a fuse. If I’m a bit unsure, I tend to search online for “how-to” videos to help guide me through the process – these videos give people like me a bit more confidence to tackle the smaller jobs. Every family is different but in our house, when it comes to these sorts of tasks, I’m easily as handy as my other half.”

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, added “This research shows that any lingering gender stereotypes regarding domestic life are totally outdated. Not only do women lead on decisions regarding the style and scope of building projects, they also get stuck in themselves when hiring a builder isn’t necessary. In 21st century Britain, you’re just as likely to find a woman up a ladder clearing out the guttering or battling with flat-pack furniture, as you might be likely to find her performing some of the more traditional domestic chores.”

“On a more serious note, the construction industry is facing a massive skills shortage and we’re crying out for more female builders. At present, only 2% of construction workers onsite are female and until we start to appeal to 50% of the population, we won’t be able to plug the skills gap. It is my hope that these hands-on women, many of whom will be mums, are inspiring their daughters to think differently about what is an acceptable career path for girls. There is no reason why young women can’t become the next generation of brickies and sparks and it’s our job to remind them of that.”

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