Mum whose dad told her to ‘marry a plumber’ decided to become one herself

Gemma Pickett was inspired to become a plumber after her father told her to marry one because ‘they get a lot of money’ – now she has her own business

Gemma's career as inspired by a casual comment from her father
Gemma’s career as inspired by a casual comment from her father

A mother, who was told by her father to “marry a plumber” because “they get a lot of money”, has revealed how she turned his advice on its head and decided to become one herself.

When Gemma Pickett was 15 and her father asked what she wanted to study at university, she had no idea what to do – but little did he know that one stupid comment would eventually inspire her entire career.

Just kidding, the now 30-year-old’s father told her to just “marry a plumber” because they make a lot of money, so she decided to try it herself, Wales Online reports.

With her own company she can fit it around her children


Gemma Pickett)

Gemma made the decision to go to college to study plumbing, and despite being the only woman, she said she had a great time and was in a group of men who didn’t phase her as she grew up and regularly dated her father went to work.

In fact, she did so well on her course that she won the Welsh National Plumbing competition, which recognized her dedication to the craft.

“When you do something you enjoy, the passion is there to do your best to keep going and improve yourself,” Gemma said.

“As a woman, I want to push the women in the trade to show them that they can do it themselves. I think a lot of women are reluctant to enter the profession because they worry that they won’t fit in, so being a successful woman in my trade will hopefully inspire other women.”

Gemma just hired her first female apprentice


Gemma Pickett)

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Now the South Wales mother of two is a successful plumber and heating engineer with a strong customer base, and she has even just hired her first female apprentice.

“I would definitely like to hire more women in the future, especially just to help them. If they want to stay with me or do their own thing, I’d be happy to give them the guide they need,” she said.

“There are many clients who would rather have a woman, especially those who are alone, single mothers and people who have been through hell and back.”

Gemma’s hard work and determination have paid off as she advances to the semi-finals of the famed Screwfix Top Tradesperson 2021 competition.

She will join over 30 other semi-finalists in the interview phase with representatives from Screwfix to try to secure a seat at a two-day virtual closing event in September.

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