Tradespeople founder Emma Kaniuk

Business is Boring: The directory helping people find women tradies

Simon Pound talks to Emma Kaniuk, founder of an online directory of women and gender-diverse tradespeople.

Women make up about 10% of all tradespeople in New Zealand, and only about 4% of “on the tools” workers. That’s a wild statistic, especially in an industry crying out for more workers. 

There are many barriers to women and gender diverse people joining the trades – some identify the culture in the industry as an issue, and others cite safety concerns on solo jobs. But if you wanted to get someone that isn’t a man out to your house to do a job, where would you even start? 

That was something Emma Kaniuk started thinking about after having some work done on her home, and realising that the vast majority of the tradies who turned up were men. So she started keeping and sharing a list of female and gender-diverse tradies. 

The demand was out there, but the service wasn’t – so on top of her day job as half of one of Aotearoa’s best design studios, Akin (you’ve definitely seen her work on things like Karma Cola or Ecostore bottles) and her other pet project, Dogdogdog, she decided to start the online directory Tradespeople.

Tradespeople lists companies owned and run by women and gender diverse tradies around the country, and it’s going great guns. To talk about the idea, her work, and the state of the industry, Emma Kaniuk joined Business is Boring this week.

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