A stunning plumber has revealed shocked customers often ask her ‘where’s the man?’ when she turns up for jobs.
Mother-of-one Carly Gayle, 30, from Crewe, Cheshire, has worked as a plumber since she was 15-years-old – starting her career by helping out with her dad’s business at weekends.
But despite making £36,000 a year from her successful plumbing business, Carly claims she frequently battles sexism, including facing doubts over whether she’s qualified for the job.
The blonde beauty, who was one of just two girls in a cohort of 200 lads at trade college, insisted her services are in high demand – especially from fellow women and older or vulnerable customers.
Carly Gayle, who has been dubbed the UK’s sexiest plumber, said her services are in high demand – particularly with vulnerable customers, young women and the elderly
Carly revealed that she is often subjected to sexist remarks, but it just makes her ‘more fiery’ and that now she is just ‘really thick-skinned’
Carly said: ‘I once had a woman tell me “you look like a model – I can’t believe you’re a plumber”.
‘When I was an apprentice 13 years ago, there were almost no women around in plumbing and I have had a lot of comments over the years.
She went on to say that people can’t believe she’ll be working on their house, revealing: ‘People have said “where’s the man?” when I’ve turned up at jobs before, and I’ve also had people not believe I’m qualified or actually able to do the job.
‘There’s been other times I’ve been in B&Q in my normal clothes with my handbag, looking at tools – knowing exactly what I’m looking for – and have had groups of lads come up to me and say “don’t hurt yourself darling”.
The plumber, who runs her own business, says she was one of just two women among 200 people at her trade college
Carly said the hands-on job has helped her maintain her toned physique and that she doesn’t let the dirty work get in the way of her beauty routine (pictured here with son Marcus)
‘I just flash them my Gas Safe register card, and they soon shut up.
She went on: ‘The comments used to get to me, but they’re only served to make me really thick skinned. It’s definitely made me more feisty.’
Despite the long hours and intensive labour, Carly can thank her hands-on job for maintaining her toned physique, which paired with her gorgeous looks have prompted customers to tell her she could be a model.
And having proved her practical abilities, she admitted she still enjoys feeling pretty by getting her nails done, despite the difficulties it can cause on the job.
Carly says that she is now teaching husband Danny how to do more practical jobs around the house, whom she shares three year old son Marcus
The plumber revealed she still loves ‘girly’ things like getting her nails done and doing her makeup, despite her unconventional job
The stunning plumber says she’s been asked ‘where’s the man’ when she turns up to jobs, but that the comments just make her more thick skinned and determined
Carl said: ‘It’s a very dirty job, I come home with wood shavings in my bra and knickers, when you’re drilling through wood it gets absolutely everywhere.
‘I love having my nails done like every other girl but I can’t have them on when I’m working because I can’t pick screws up or any other fiddly bits.
‘So when I’m desperate to have them for a holiday or other occasion I have to duct tape them up.’
Regardless of rude remarks, nothing could deter Carly from the trade she loves – as it even introduced her to factory worker husband Danny, 31, the father to her three- year-old son, Marcus.
She revealed when she first met husband Danny, he made a dirty joke about her fixing his pipes – but now he relies on her to do the practical jobs around the house
Her own dad Andy, pictured here with Carly, didn’t want her to become a plumber because he thought it was ‘a hard life’ and that she’d get a lot of stick
The stunning plumber said her business is particularly popular with older people and young women, as well as those who may feel vulnerable
Carly said: ‘When we met Danny thought it was brilliant that I was training to become a plumber, he loved it.
Before they were married, she found her boyfriend was reliant on her to do the handy-work around the house – but now she’s teaching him the skills so he can do it himself.
She went on: ‘I used to do a lot of the practical jobs around the house, but since we have been married he likes to do a lot more of that kind of stuff – so I taught him how do to it.’
Carly has to tape up her nails in order to protect her manicure from being damaged while she’s working
In the last ten years she’s built up a successful business, working on building sites, council houses and even helped renovate hotels, as well as raising son Marcus
The mother of one has loved the job every since she was a youngster, helping father Andrew out on building sites
‘Now his friends ring him up asking how to bleed a radiator, because they know I’ve shown him how.’
In the last ten years the go-getter has worked on building sites, in council houses and even helped to renovate hotels.
But despite her own father, Andrew, 56, teaching Carly everything she needed to know to become a successful plumber, he initially didn’t want his daughter to make a living from the trade.
She said: ‘I used to work with him on weekends from the age of 15, just giving him a hand with stuff.
Carly, with her three year old son Marcus, says she makes £36,000 a year with her business and nothing would deter her from it
The young plumber started working for her dad when she was just 15, and learned all the basics of the trade which she fell in love with
‘He taught me how to solder pipes and all the other basics. He was always doing things and showing me how you did it.
‘I wanted him to give me an apprenticeship but he wouldn’t. He didn’t really want me to go into the same industry as him because he knows it’s a hard life, it’s hard work, it’s a lot of responsibility and he knew I would get a lot of stick.’
Today, Carly says attitudes towards women in trade are getting much better, but it’s a long way from gender equality, and she would like to see more encouragement for girls to consider a more manual career.
She said: ‘It used to be a lot worse than it is now, but it’s still a long way off women being equal, and there’s no platform for women to get into the construction industry.
The mother of one said she believed the industry was ‘a long way off’ for women being equal, but that she is determined to stay at it
The plumber revealed she still loves getting her nails done, although it’s often impractical for work (pictured left on the job, and right at the weekend)
She went on to credit the support of her own father for helping set her up with the success business.
She said: ‘For me, it was through my dad and that’s the same for a lot of women.
‘They have just been lucky enough to have someone to support them with it, but there’s nothing really to encourage women to think that they can do anything like this.
‘We have a lot of customers now that we have seen for years, they all know me really well and know how capable I am.
The mother of one revealed that she thought her gender worked in her favour for jobs, as some people, who may be vulnerable or older, preferred to have a woman working on their house
However, she said that sometimes her gender does work in her favour on jobs – as those who are older or vulnerable often prefer a female tradesperson.
She said: ‘A lot of my customers really like the fact I’m a woman too, especially other women and older people that are on their own.
‘I’m so grateful that I got into a trade because I have so much knowledge and I have earned good money, probably more than most women my age.’
Carly is determined to stay in the profession, despite the sexist remarks and challenges from customers