We're featuring Women in Construction and Trade every Wednesday!
This week we spoke to founder of Stopcocks Women Plumbers Hattie Hasan about why her successes matter and her mission to help tradeswomen achieve what they desire
Hi Hattie, a big thank you for taking the time to answer our questions! Can you tell us a little about what you do?
I spend my time working to increase the numbers of women plumbers and making it easier for women and girls to get into our industry; speaking, meeting industry leaders, consulting, mentoring our plumbers and also plumbing.
It’s my mission that every woman who wants to work as a tradeswoman can do so and receive the appreciation and financial reward she deserves for that.
I want every householder who’d prefer to choose a woman to carry out work in her home to be able to make that choice.
Along the way I want to improve the industry for all of us in it and the standards householders can expect.
I want all of our tradeswomen to act as role models so that every girl grows up knowing she can be whoever and whatever she wants!
That’s an incredible use of your time and it sounds like you’ve got the strength to make a real difference.
How did you get to where you are now?
At first I just plumbed and made a very good living, but customers started making comments that made me realise I was having a bigger effect than just fixing their homes.
At the same time, women were contacting me asking for help to become plumbers.
I wanted to have a bigger effect than just changing things for customers one by one and looked for a way I could make a bigger difference.
So over around 10 years and many hiccoughs along the way I eventually set up the world’s only franchise for women plumbers. So Stopcocks Women Plumbers is now a national company of female heating engineers and plumbers, always taking on more women plumbers because we have huge demand nationally from customers.
What’s your favourite project that you’ve worked on?
There really are too many to count! I’m really proud of all the differences I’m able to make and that because of what we do at Stopcocks Women Plumbers we are making skilled trades-women visible so girls can think of it as a career open to them.
What does the future hold for you that you’re excited about?
We’re doing some work in Kenya with plumbers there at the moment, raising standards of plumbing and helping plumbers get the recognition they deserve. That’s exciting.
Clean water and good sanitation are so very important, we don’t appreciate it enough. Water really is life!
Other than Stopcocks, have you engaged with any organisations that are pushing for gender equality in construction/trade?
We’re friendly with Women into Construction and we create our own initiatives too, such as the Women Installers Together Conference we run every year. Here’s a link to sign up for updates about the July 2020 event.
Do you feel there are many opportunities for women within your industry?
Absolutely thousands! Householders are crying out for women plumbers and other trades-women, Stopcocks exist to make it easy for householders to find you, and for you to have the flexibility women want and need in their careers. Join us!
Is there anything you would like to say to other women who are just entering the industry?
Construction and maintenance is a really great career for a woman, don’t let anyone tell you they’re not.
All the women working in this sector are inspirational! I can’t just name individuals, but I encourage you to join us, be an inspiration and a role model!
What has been your greatest achievement to date?
I was awarded an MBE this year for Services to Women in the Heating and Plumbing Industry.
I’m surprised and delighted to have been recognised in this way. My phone hasn’t stopped ringing since it was announced!
My hope is that this award will help to bring the issue of the lack of women in the heating and plumbing industry to a wider audience and help me, and all my supporters, make an even bigger difference.
Desert island round; Three tracks, a book and a luxury, what would you take to a desert island?
Tracks: The Lark Ascending, Vaughn Williams. The Sensual World, Kate Bush. Survivor, Destiny’s Child.
Book: An A-Z of cello music (this would a fantastic opportunity to spend time perfecting my cello playing)
Luxury: My cello
This was Hattie Hasan (@HattieHasan), interviewed for our #WiCW series – a compilation of articles from inspirational women in the Construction and Trades industries. Want to get involved? Have someone to recommend? Get in contact with Grey on Twitter or firstname.lastname@example.org
Featured image credit: Installer