Meet the 27-year-old female Leeds plasterer breaking stereotypes after changing careers

A 27-year-old Leeds woman is breaking stereotypes after changing careers to become a plasterer in the city.

Kim Clydesdale was working in a cafe when she was 19 years old.

Now 27, she decided to try her hand in the trade and started shadowing Adrian Sparrow at Whistlefish Property Services in 2014.

The property company has renovated houses for more than 12 years.

Adrian Sparrow

Kim took to the job instantly and showed "real promise" according to Tora Oetgen, who is joint-owner of the business.

She is now used as the plasterer within the company's network of trusted tradespeople and is well known across Leeds for her brilliant finished product.

It is believed less than three per cent of the plastering workforce in the UK are female.

However, this has not let Kim stop her fledgling career and she now hopes to inspires others to follow her into the trade.

Kim Clydesdale

Speaking to the YEP, Kim said: “Being a female in the trade has certainly come with its difficulties, being people underestimating you or needing extra reassurance that I can do my job to the same standards.

"I’m generally not phased by this.

"After many years I’ve realised I’m changing people's points of view when I complete the job to a same if not better standard than what they want.

"On the other hand some people are encouraging and feel for comfortable with a women entering there homes, so I suppose it comes with both advantages and disadvantages.”

Tora Oetgen

Kim said she had come across female painters, joiners and electricians but no plasterers.

Tora, 41, told the YEP Kim started working for Whistlefish Property Services in 2014.

"She was our first employee and first to progress as a plasterer", Tora said.

"She has recently plastered my mum's house and it is top quality."

In 2021, Kim completed a full plastering course.

Whistlefish Property Services is now looking for a new employee to help their business.

Tora said the business offers reliable painting and decorating services for domestic properties throughout Leeds.

"No previous experience required as full on the job training is provided, as are all the tools and materials needed for each job", Tora said in a recent job listing.

For more information search Whistlefish Property Services.