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Posted On: 2nd Oct 2017

Jobs and Gender

Lysette Hacking wants women and men to have equal chances at careers in construction
Lysette has won awards for her plumbing
Dr Gemma Sweeney from the University of Huddersfield supports the campaign

'It does shock me a bit in this day and age that women are still having to fight for their rights. People can do so much regardless of their sex.'

A plumber from Haworth, Yorkshire, is working with Fixers to show that women are more than capable of successful careers in construction.   


26-year-old Lysette Hacking is a level 3 qualified plumber. She has won numerous awards for her plumbing, but feels that because she is female, she was discriminated against when she was looking for a job.


She wants to level the playing field and get more women to pursue careers in construction. 


'If I could pinpoint one thing I wanted to change, it would be having a 50/50 blend, so that men and women are working side by side and bringing their individual strengths into a trade,' she says.   


She told her story on ITV News Calendar on October 5.  



Lysette says: 'When I realised I was being discriminated against it really hurt. 


'I won an Apprentice Of The Year award in the north west and I was my college Apprentice Of The Year, so when I was applying for jobs I didn't understand why I wasn't hearing anything back.


'It got to the point where I started to apply as 'L Hacking' rather than putting my full name. After the first application I did that with, I got a call back. They did a telephone interview, that's when they realised I was female and I didn't hear anything after that. 


'I've worked so hard for what I've got, and for someone to take that away just because I'm female really hurt.' 


Lysette later succeeded in getting a job at Calderdale College, Yorkshire. She created a film with Fixers, which was shown to students there.


To watch the film, click on the image above. 



Dr Gemma Sweeney, business development officer at Huddersfield University's School of Applied Sciences, supports the campaign. 


She says: 'If you look at tradespeople in general, currently 6% of the workforce in the trades are female which is very low.


'I think employers tend to think "well why would she want to do that, would she be able to fit into my team?" and I think women that really want to do these professions sometimes have to work a little bit harder.' 


Lysette adds: 'Throughout history women have been trying to get into roles that they were not previously invited into - like the Bronte sisters, who were also from Howarth. 


'It’s nice to think I have a small part in that.' 


Lysette's project was supported by the Wellcome Trust.


To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.


Author: Molly Kersey


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