A plumber has won The Apprentice and being famous ourselves, Stopcocks Women Plumbers have been asked to comment. Not me personally, I’m not a famous plumber, but being a Stopcocks Woman Plumber has brought me fame of a sort.
Being a woman plumber has certainly brought me fame locally. I definitely get recommendations because people know who I am but that isn’t fame, our brand and the name Stopcocks Women Plumbers brings me fame. Our name goes before us.
Of course, being so memorable does mean you have to be good and keep your promises. At Stopcocks Women Plumbers we say that our customer service is ‘exquisite’ which is some promise to live up to!
We do get asked our official opinions quite a bit, for the papers and on radio. A few years ago there was a bit of a scandal when the sports reporters left their mic on while they criticised a woman referee. They got Hattie, our founder in the radio studio to talk about that and what it’s like being a ‘woman in a man’s world’. – Funny expression that, I’ve never really understood it.
Anyhow, Hattie talked about how if you’re in a minority you stick out like a sore thumb, everyone notices and remembers you so you have to make sure that you are really the best, because if you are ever not quite perfect, that is what will be remembered.
Every tradeswoman knows this, every woman doing something a bit unusual understands it, and so do the male nurses!
Now, a plumber has won The Apprentice and people want to know our opinion on that too. He’s been able to get his company some notoriety and some financial backing; which is great for him.
I think it was missed opportunity really. He won by default, because the other finalist’s business required more than the £250.000 investment that is specified in the competition. If Joseph had only offered something unique his business could have won on it’s own merits.
We are unique because we’re the world’s only national company of women plumbers (and builders of all kinds) plus we actively work against the rubbish reputation of the ‘man’ual trades because of our exquisite customer service.
So if Lord Sugar had asked us what he asked Joseph, the plumber on the show, ‘what if someone complains? I don’t want to be called up by someone who is dissatisfied because they’ve been ripped off and I don’t want to be associated with that’ he would have got a proper answer, not a mumble.
We’d have told him about how we tell the customer when we’re arriving and call them if we’re delayed, how we speak respectfully to them, explain properly and don’t patronise or bamboozle them, how we clean up our mess and don’t overcharge either!
Anyhow, our fame has just keeps increasing, people want our opinion on Joseph now. Hattie was on Sky News in the summer talking about why there aren’t more women plumbers and what Stopcocks is doing about it http://news.sky.com/story/1277275/white-van-woman-held-back-by-sexism. Women hands on in the skilled trades only account for about 1% of workers and in plumbing it’s right down low at 0.4%, which is pretty ridiculous.
There’s a piece of research that’s been done that says 23% of women would train in the trades if they had their time again and about 30% of customers would be happy to use a woman plumber, so there will never be enough of us to supply the demand.
Good news for us as long as we keep on with our exquisite customer service.