International Womens Day 2022

At Craig & Rose, we continue to celebrate incredible women that are challenging stereotypes in order to thrive in roles that have historically been dominated by the opposite sex.  Although we feel encouraged to see more women joining the construction industry, recent CareerSmart data shows that women make up just 4.9% of painters and decorators.  

As a business with a majority proportion of female leaders, gender-inclusivity is an area in which we would like to see a faster pace of industry change. It's a strong area of focus for us and our partners throughout the year but this week, as part of International Women's day, we hope to inspire future decorators with real-life insights. 

At Craig & Rose, we work in close partnership with Paint my Home who offer a comprehensive range of painting & decorating services to our customers.



Introducing Nicole...

We recently caught up with Nicole who is employed as a Painting & Decorating Apprentice with Bell Group to discuss her experience in the sector.

We're really keen to hear what originally lead you to begin your career?  

When I was younger I knew I didn't want to get a job at a desk or one that would be too repetitive.  I enjoyed manual tasks; working with my hands and being active.  I enrolled in a construction course at college and despite the fact that I was a little put off by the lack of women on the course, I really enjoyed it.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Definitely the variation from day to day - each is so different.  There is also great camaraderie within the trade and I get to be with and meet so many different people each week that have such similar interests. 


Is a gender-balanced workplace important to you?

Most definitely and we are a long way off from that at the moment. Knowing how male-dominated this industry is, was something that really put me off in the early years.  It was intimidating to think about being in such a minority.   Aspiring female decorators need to see more people like them working in the industry in order for things to change.  They need to be inspired by others breaking down the walls and showing them what is possible.


What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?

Being the only female in an all-male team, I've always felt like I've got something to prove.  The guys I work with have always been supportive and often offer to help me out.  Sometimes that's because I'm an apprentice and I'm really grateful for the support.  Other times, it's because I'm a woman and there are many traditional views in the industry.   It doesn't feel patronising but I do always feel like I want people to know that I don't expect special treatment because I'm female - I'm more than happy to roll my sleeves up.


Do you have any role models or mentors that have inspired you?

I've worked with many tradespeople over the year that have taken me under their wing and offered their guidance and advice - this has been invaluable.  Within Bell Group there are quite a few females within the management team that I've worked closely with across different jobs.  It's been good to experience a real variety of projects and be exposed to lots of different clients because of their encouragement. 


What would your advice be for any other women starting out in this sector?

Don't feel intimidated to start with, just be ready to throw yourself into the team, relax and be a bit lighthearted. I think it's always important to be eager to learn and to listen to others and their experience.  It's good to ask lots of questions and make sure people know you are keen to get stuck in and put in the effort.  


And finally, could you give us your top 3 decorating tips?

  1. When you're painting with a roller, it's always a good idea to give the new roller sleeve a quick wash before you paint.  This will make sure that any loose fibres don't end up on your newly painted walls.   
  2. Always make sure you give the tin a good shake and stir as the components can separate in storage. 
  3. When starting a whole room, always work from the top down. So, ceilings first, then walls, then woodwork. 

A big thanks to Nicole and Paint my Home for getting involved with this feature.

We would love to hear your views on this subject. Please let us know your thoughts here.