International Women's Day - Nikita Porthouse
Nikita (Kita) Porthouse
Certifing Gasfitter, Licensed Plumber and Drainlayer
Hutt Gas and Plumbing
What do you do in your current role?
Installing gas appliances, gas leaks, large gas installations, bathrooms, kitchens, and plumbing systems and train apprentices
What do you particularly enjoy about it?
The variety of the jobs and the fact you have something to look back on after you finish that has made a real difference to the comfort of people’s lives. I enjoy training appentices and seeing them grow in understanding and confidence.
How long have you been with your organisation?
8 years - I started my apprenticeship with them.
How do you find working in a male dominated industry?
Have no problem with it – but I do work for a company that has other women plumbers and gasfitters so for us it is “normalised”
Have you encountered any specific challenges?
Just with not having the strength when it comes to certain things, but you find ways that work for you i.e leverage, It comes down to working smarter not harder!
Please share any standout moments in your life.
Getting a 94.5% in my gas certifing exam, proving hard work pays off. Being in the “Got a Trade Got it Made” advert with my dad. Also winning the NAWIC Tradeswoman of the year in 2022, heavily pregnant but proud as punch!
What does your organisation do for inclusion and diversity?
We present talks at schools to encourage more women to try plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying as a career, and we have 4 other females working for us, so we walk the talk!
What or who inspires you?
My husband inspired me and pushed me to get into the trade, now my son inspires me to get further in my career
What do you wish you had known before you started in your profession?
How expensive and addictive buying new tools is...
What would you tell another woman interested in the plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying industry?
Do it!! You have nothing to lose. You will have to get under floors and in roof spaces so just be prepared. Also you will have to get up on roofs. Don't let that stop you - I hate spiders but we have an agreement if they don't move I don't squash them, and I was never a huge fan of heights but now I'm used to it. You will have to start at the bottom (everyone does).
Any final comments?
Construction still has a way to go to make women feel truly welcome, but we are up for the challenge!
International Women's Day is about a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality.
Find out more: www.internationalwomensday.com