I was thinking about what had helped me the most over the years as a female tradie and I have found that the best thing is producing work that is the very best that I can turn out. I find if there are barriers or resistance to me being on site that this breaks them down the most. On the whole people are always curious when they see a woman on site because it’s not something that happens all the time, so I always find that people watch what I do more than most. I am used to it and it doesn’t bother me. Any good tradie responds to another tradie that’s doing a good job.
In my experience being aggressive or cocky just breeds more aggression or contempt. Showing that you know what you doing and being prepared to learn when you don’t is always appreciated by others who are good at what they do. No tradie worth their salt likes a bludger or a bull artist and they can pick them a mile off.
I am no different to the men. I like to make things; I am hands on and practical. I get a buzz out of looking at what I have done at the end of the day or week or project. I show my family what I have done – that’s the house I painted, I designed those colours, I did that job. I check to see how old jobs are holding up and I learn and appreciate the skill of other tradies. When I’m painting being a female doesn’t come into it – I am a person who loves what I do and wants to produce work that’s skilled and appreciated by others and I enjoy working with others who feel the same.