This year at The Building Centre London the #WITconf initiative is unique.
Not only are the annual conferences the only place for women plumbers, women plumbers in training and female gas engineers to meet up, they’re sponsored by some industry greats keen to show that they’re leading the way by encouraging more diversity in the industry.
“I think it’s very simple,” said Ian Kenny, marketing director for Graham’s Merchant UK. “Fifty-two per cent of the population in this country are women, so with 99% of the people in the industry not being that gender, there’s a challenge.
“I like to think about ‘Diversity’ very simply – as different ways of thinking and different perspectives. It broadens your horizons; it challenges many things you’ve done historically.”
Hattie Hasan had the flash of inspiration to run the conference after she launched her company, Stopcocks Women Plumbers, as a franchise in 2017. Several leading manufactures approached asking how they could support the growth of numbers of women in the industry.
Rachel Smith, head of Polypipe Underfloor Heating, said: “Research (and Stopcocks) have shown that the plumbing and heating trade can be an excellent fit for women looking to grow their careers, manage their own businesses and really build a working life that suits their schedules.”
Hattie wanted to use the opportunity to shine a light on what women are achieving in the industry “People are always asking ‘What are the problems, what are the problems?’ and I thought ‘D’you know what, I’m not going to talk about the problems any more, I’m going to celebrate.”
And celebrate she will, with a packed event: with training provided by Polypipe Building Products’ Jazz Wilson for the second year and inspiration from Anna Hemmings MBE and Hattie herself as MC and speaker in the afternoon, excellent food and even cake.
This is your last chance; for one of the final few tickets or to get on the waiting list for returns, visit: https://2018witconference.eventbrite.co.uk