Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Sisters Are DIYing for Themselves

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Sisters Are DIYing for Themselves

Article excerpt

BREASTS and belt sanders, jugs and jigsaws, hooters and hammers, norks and nailguns. It sounds like a health and safety officeras nightmare but itas just a crude description of how power tools have been marketed to men.

No longer are women the accessories a they are wielding their own cordless drills. This doesnat mean women are taking over building sites a according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the proportion of women to men in construction has declined slightly in the past 10 years.

No, women are DIYing. The relentless images of the girls from The Block, DIY Rescue and the many other TV handywomen sanding, bogging and planing, sometimes in short shorts and skin-tight tops, seems to be having an impact on the public.

aThe market has been perpetuated by the DIY renovation shows which, over time, have shown a lot of women using tools,a says Mark Smith, marketing director of Black & Decker Australia.

The company is one of the major suppliers on The Block, which canat hurt sales. Smith says 28 per cent of women buying power tools are buying for their own use.

Retailers have caught on to the trend and are running DIY courses for women.

aA bit of it is getting the tools in the womenas hands and eliminating the fear,a Smith says.

He has some tips for women who want to know if a tool is marketed at them.

There may be a photo of a woman using the tool on the packaging and poster. This year, Black & Decker has put a woman in its commercials and yes, Smith confirms, sheas fully clothed.

aYou should be wearing long pants and appropriate footwear. There are plenty of weekend warriors doing it without the right gear,a he says.

Another power tool company, Bosch, has gone further and is designing power tools specifically for women.

Jacqui MacDonald, product manager for Bosch DIY Australia, runs through a selection: a cordless range with an LCD display that can tell you which setting to use for torque and speed; a small screwdriver designed to fit into a womanas hand; and a small palm sander with a soft grip. …

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