When Laura Miller, 28, was struggling to work and look after her children she decided to set up her own plumbing business so she could create a schedule that worked for her and her family.
Now, eight months on, her business has gone from strength-to-strength and allows Laura to be both a mum and a plumber.
“I dropped my hours when I worked for Rotherham Council so that I could take my daughter and stepson to school but it got to the point where I could only just afford my youngest son’s nursery fees, so I had to figure something out.
“I dropped on this idea of setting up my own business and it’s all just snowballed from there.
“I thought that I would mostly be dealing with older people but the response has been amazing.”
Laura decided to give plumbing a try while she was in secondary school after hearing a careers officer talk about it.
“In school I always felt that they concentrated on the ‘core’ subjects more but never really focussed on what you wanted to do after you left school,” said Laura, of Skylark View, Wath-upon-Dearne, who grew up in Wombwell.
“I hadn’t given it much thought but I overheard the careers lady talking to another girl about plumbing and I thought that I would give it a go.
“I initially wanted to be a gas fitter but I finished my apprenticeship after three years as a qualified plumber instead of staying on an extra year. I just had to learn as I went and found myself really enjoying it.”
Despite working in a male-dominated environment, Laura says she is still ‘girly’ at heart.
“I still have my nails and my hair done because I think I am a ‘girly girl’ despite the fact that I am covered in grime all day. I’ve also worked out a great routine where I do a week of heavy jobs then a week of lighter jobs so I can be there for my children and stepson.”
Laura wants to encourage other women to enter traditionally male-dominated careers.
“If you want to succeed in a male-dominated environment you need to work hard to be better than the men otherwise you’ll not stand out but it will be worth it in the end.”