Hayley Guinnane

Trade: Carpentry

Age you entered trade and how:
19, I did a pre-vo and then got an apprenticeship.

What attracted you to your trade?
I liked working with my hands and knew that office work wasn't me.

What challenges did you face?
None at first. I loved doing my apprenticeship and I worked for a really nice builder who was only too happy to support women in non traditional roles.

What kept you going?
The fact that I loved my job. It's not really work.

What makes you really proud?
Standing back at a job that at the beginning I didn't know how I was going to do it and then seeing it all finished.

What do you believe are the benefits of working in a trade as opposed to more tradition employment?
I think the benefits are for my children, they will grow up seeing this as normal and may encourage both my sons and daughter to do a non traditional role or at least something they really love no matter what people may say.

What do you love most about your trade?
I like the aesthetics of my work, I like seeing things new and fresh. I like entertaining ideas on how to do a job. I like offering my customers different options for their job. I like working with my hands. I like breaking gender roles and I love that I get to do something I love and call it work.

What triumphs have you had?
Starting my apprenticeship when people said "Girls can't do that".

Finishing my apprenticeship with the support of family and friends and a great builder I was working for.

And more importantly becoming my own boss!

What do you do in your spare time?
Normally provide some sort of taxi service to one of my children to support their social life.