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Meet Female Bricklayer - Katie Smith

Meet Female Bricklayer - Katie Smith

STORIES| 11.03.2021

Here at Dickies we are passionate about encouraging women to get into the construction trade, and recently we caught up with talented female bricklayer Katie Smith, to ask her questions about what it's like to work as a bricky in a male-dominated trade.

Katie has the following impressive awards under her work belt: 

  • UK’s Best Apprentice of the Year 2018
  • Highly Recommended Employability Award 2018
  • The Prince's Trust Ambassador
  • Regional Achiever of the Year Award 2018

When did you first notice Dickies?

"I came across Dickies via my social media, after always following them for the skate reason, it was nice to see I could also bring my love for Dickies onto site as well."

 

What makes you creative?

"I’m a lefty! We’re naturally creative right? I think my ADHD has a big part to play in my creativity. It’s extremely rewarding to see what you’ve achieved by yourself and see a really decent end result. My mind is non-stop, it’s constantly coming up with all sorts of new ideas and things to try and put together to make something magic happen."

 

What is the most fun aspect of your trade?

"The summer! Working in the sun, doing something I love being surrounded by people who like to have a laugh- I love site life. Although we all work really hard, we also laugh equally just as much too. It seems when the spring starts, so does the banter and the summer rush and I love to be busy and kept on my toes!"

 

What is your best trick?

"My best trick has to be the the “the trowel pop”, this is where walk up to my trowel, kick the handle with the heel of my boot and it flicks up, enabling me to catch it without having to bend over and pick up it (avoiding that unnecessary back strain)."

 

Any advice on getting into bricklaying?

"Do it! Never give up, it’s such an amazing skill to have and you can take it literally anywhere. It enables you to live a comfortable life, down to earning a decent living. Apply to big companies to get involved in the apprentice schemes, there’s websites, taster sessions and all sorts out there offering the chance to gain the qualification, if your willing to apply yourself, you can get there. Don’t let NO one set you back and put you off chasing your dreams."

 

What is your favourite film?

"So, my favourite film has to be Disney’s "Up”, it’s a tear jerker for one and I think the storyline is really beautiful. Bricky or not, I still have a soft side."

 

Why do you like Dickies?

"I grew up skating, Dickies has always been around and I’ve always liked the clothing line. The clothes are of really good quality, which you need when constantly falling off a skateboard. But as for workwear wise, it’s comfortable, again really good quality, fair priced and long lasting! The work boots are ridiculously comfy too!"

 

If you could go anywhere where would it be?

"I’d like to go to New York and see the big builds out there, see how they are done. See the brickwork over there and how different life on site would be in such a big busy city!"

 

Who is your favourite celebrity?

"It has to be Stacey Dooley, she is such an inspiration to all the young women in the world. She’s pure and genuine and goes out of her way to expose real life issues. Spending time to make extremely positive changes at the same time whilst helping others out of less fortunate situations."

 

Work Shorts or Work Trousers?

"Work shorts all day long! Work trousers are over rated!"

 

Wet or dry?

"Some days wet, when we’re all tired, worked hard and it means an early finish towards the end of the week, otherwise, I’ll pick dry- you can’t make much money if the suns not shining in my game!"

 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

"I love how rewarding my apprenticeship is, the end result of having a trade enables me to go anywhere around the world. I enjoy building someone’s future while I’m building my own. I’d 100% encourage more women to get into the construction trade, I feel a lot of females are put off by the stigma of it being “a mans world”. Anyone is entitled to be on site, no matter what your gender, race, religion or beliefs are. It’s all in the mind, the work is 80% light work- it’s more about mental strength, if you have that along with a skill, you will never be out of work and the opportunities will be endless."

 

Who inspired you to become a bricky?

"There wasn’t a female tradeswomen that inspired me. Me and my Prince's Trust worker Emma went to visit a construction placement back in 2016, and I loved it. We sat in her car afterwards and we both agreed that year, was going to be my year, since the things have been a little mad in regards to succeeding and awards and progress. My Grandfather was a bricklayer, he played a father role so he would always be my inspiration as his father also was a master bricklayer so I feel privileged to have been able to carry on the family skill and keep it going. Who knows maybe in the future, I can pass it onto my children and I can be their inspiration!"


If you are inspired by Katie and are interested in becoming a Dickies Ambassador, visit the Dickies Community page.


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