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Mazgas says tradeswomen are out there but underestimated

While Ken Livingston laments the few and far between existence of female tradesmen for London projects, one-woman show Mazgas is blazing a trail to tell customers where the industry's women are.
Mazgas says tradeswomen are out there but underestimated
Back in 2002, The London Development Agency pledged cash to get women into male-dominated manual trades. Women like Marina Adams have triumphed over adversity in her career. She has headed up two businesses in traditional male industries. The first in engineering, the second in heating and plumbing but now hopes to help other women find work via the web.

Marina, known as Maz for short, has been running heating and plumbing firm Masgas for the last two years. She is a Corgi-gas fitter, plumber, plasterer and tiler who is currently booked up till February next year.

In a plumbing class of 20, she was one of two females and says a willingness to learn and be practical are key but added 'You've got to be not just as good as the men, you've got to be better than them to succeed.'

'There will always be sexist remarks. A woman I know asked a man who owned a plumbing company for work and he agreed but then approached me asking if I could take her on.
'He said he was afraid the men at his firm would take the mickey out of her. 'Men think women are too fragile. There's always the jibes. The point is, I have no trouble lifting a boiler and putting it on a wall.'

Maz is planning to launch a new website by the end of the year to help customers find tradeswomen and help the tradeswomen find the work.

Once is live, she hopes gas fitters, plumbers, electricians, plasterers, carpenters and more will be listed online, searchable by postcode with customer feedback .

The 40 year-old plans to grow Mazgas slowly and take on another staff member. 'In the past I've found some kids are keen on the money but busier on their mobile phones than the jobs and I need a flexible and enthusiastic worker'.

She adds 'But I'm not sexist. Men or women can apply'.

5 September 2007


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