Becky Bates is a qualified plumber and has been in the industry for almost ten years. She runs her own successful plumbing business, BB Plumbing, and is a strong advocate for encouraging more women to take up the trade. We caught up with her to find out more.
HIP Magazine: Hi Becky, it’s great to speak to you! So, why plumbing?
Becky Bates: Plumbing wasn’t something I’d even contemplated in the past but when I saw an advert in the paper something just clicked. I was drawn to the possibility of running my own business and learning a skill. I remember my grandad saying, “People will always need a reliable plumber, Becky”. Then once I started my training, I immediately felt like I’d found my calling.
HIP:What advice would you give to someone who is about to qualify?
BB: Work with someone who’s been in the trade for a while to gain knowledge and experience, even if it means giving your time for free. That hands-on experience outside of the classroom is priceless. And it’s not just about learning the on-site skills but also on how to run a business. And more importantly, stick at it! You will get knockbacks and you will have bad days. But it’s worth it.
HIP: It’s great to see more women taking up plumbing! What would you say to younger girls who want to get into the trade?
BB: Don’t be put off by the stereotypes. Know that by becoming a plumber or gas engineer you will be stepping into an industry which is highly skilled, full of innovation and ever changing which makes it exciting.
HIP: How do you think social media has helped you and your business?
BB: When you’re self-employed you can feel quite lonely. Like any job it comes with its challenges. It’s helped me by making me feel part of a community. I know if I am experiencing any difficulties technical, business or emotional there is a community of fantastic like-minded folk who are more than willing to help. It has also helped with showcasing my work and opened up job opportunities.
HIP: Why is it important to you to work with top brands?
BB: Viva & Wilo are brands which I use and trust, so when the opportunity came up to work with them, I jumped at the chance. I think it’s important for women to be included in product campaigns & advertising within the industry. These companies are strong advocates for women in the trades and I am proud to represent them.
HIP: What are your passions outside of work?
BB: I love being outdoors, hiking with my fiancée is my absolute favourite. I also enjoy running and yoga. I love going to see live music as often as my bank balance will allow!
HIP: How would you describe yourself in three words?
BB: Silly, creative and passionate.
This article first appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of HIP Magazine.