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Growing number prefer Barbara the builder to Bob

Forget the Mario brothers, it looks like the Maria sisters are the plumbers more and more householders would prefer to see wielding a wrench in their home, and a builder named Barbara may be more welcome than Bob the builder, according to a recent poll.
Nearly one third of British people (out of 2,010 surveyed in an online poll), would prefer to hire female plumbers, electricians and builders because a woman's attention to detail is considered the most valued skill needed in a tradesman.

The new study by Direct Line for Business has revealed a growing demand for female tradesman, with nearly 29% of UK adults saying they would prefer to hire a woman if given the choice.

What the public feel a female tradesmen does better than a male tradesman:

· Attention to detail (66%)
· Allows the client to feel safer in the house (54%)
· More reliable/punctual (46%)
· Provide a better service (45%)
· Better ability to multi-task (42%)
·
However, despite nearly two fifths (38%) of people saying they would like to see more females running a trades business, 23% of women feel there are not many opportunities for them to take on roles in the 'trades'.

Hafida Sarachi, founder of female trades service HandyGirl, said 'There is a growing demand for female tradesman services from both male and female customers. People come to HandyGirl because our ethos is based on reliability and honesty, and not only do I find that other women like to hire a female tradesperson for security reasons, but men sometimes also prefer the service we can provide'.

The Dragon's Den contestant added 'Unfortunately there are still very few women going into the trades, so I would encourage more women who like DIY to take up their tools and go for it!'

The research also reveals people's attitudes towards stereotypical female jobs are also shifting, with two thirds (66%) of people believing men would be equally capable of working in a female-dominated role such as a child carer, beautician or cleaner. Only around one in five men (19%) think these types of jobs are best left for women.

Kate Syred, head of Direct Line for Business, said 'Traditionally men have dominated the trade services and have been doing a great job of it; however it is encouraging to now see a strong demand for female trade services as well, and to see both sexes being successful in this sector'.

Opinium Research LLP carried out an online poll of 2,010 British adults between July 11-15 2008.
15 August 2008

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