With The Block wrapping up, Channel 9 have a done a good job of offering us up another reno reality show to sink our teeth into. Have you seen that recent trailer for Reno Rumble on Channel 9? I know that I’ll be reserving the remote during broadcast hours…but there’s one particular part in that trailer that I took a huge issue with.
Most of the female contestants are framed as real Barbie Dolls, swanning about with empty tool belts, They are, naturally, attractive women on a worksite. So by default, they’re often framed as the butt of the tradie jokes – from both men and other women.
Without having seen the show yet, I can’t say if this type of stereotyping is warranted.
But what I do know is that your inability to operate a drop saw or fire a nail gun does not make for uselessness.
Here’s the thing about being a woman on a worksite: when you don’t have a specific trade skills to offer, this often leads to shopping for furnishings, or becoming another Bunnings casualty lost amongst the paint swatches.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
There are a number of practical things women can do on site that aren’t specifically building. By choice, many women, me included, won’t use much more than a power drill for safety reasons. So here are some practical alternatives that won’t require power tools.
1) Do all the shopping yourself
But be strategic and smart about it. You are shopping with purpose, so the idea is to save yourself money and time. Rather than paying your chippie to do all the organising, ordering, receipting, deliveries, take charge and make yourself master of materials.
2) Clean the site
A clean worksite is a safe worksite. It’s obvious. Or is it? Whether you’re working with a painter with 20-years experience or an apprentice tradie, you’ll often find a lack of awareness on-site. This can lead to serious accidents – slipping on spills and debris, poorly stored material falling over, and tripping on cords and stray leads.
Take initiative and salvage what materials you can, and then bin the rest. Debris should be swept up and disposed of in a designated rubbish area – which needs to be emptied and cleared at the end of the day. Make sure all tools are placed where they won’t fall and cause damage or injury. Any spills should be covered with absorbent material and cleaned up.
3) Play gofer
Leave the building to your tradies, but help them out by fetching, carting, holding, and taking care of small tasks which won’t pose any safety risks to yourself. It will speed things up and it’ll reduce the hours they bill you for.
They say a good craftsman (or woman) never blames her tools, or lack thereof. And neither should you.
What’s been your biggest challenge as a woman on a worksite? Share in the comments below!