A Haworth plumber who says she suffered sex discrimination when job-seeking is backing a campaign urging more women to work in the construction industry.

Lysette Hacking is a Level 3-qualified plumber and has won numerous awards for her work.

But the 26-year-old claims she was knocked back several times when applying for posts, simply because she’s a woman.

“When I realised I was being discriminated against it really hurt,” she said.

“I won an Apprentice of the Year award in the north-west and a similar honour at college so when I was applying for jobs I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t hearing anything back.

“I started to apply as ‘L Hacking’ rather than putting my full name, and after the first application in that style I received a call.

“They did a telephone interview, but of course they then realised I was female and I didn’t hear anything after that.

“I’ve worked so hard for what I’ve got, and for someone to take that away just because I’m a woman really hurt.

“It does shock me a bit in this day and age that women are still having to fight for their rights. People can do so much regardless of their sex.

“If I could pinpoint one thing I want to change, it would be having a 50/50 blend so that men and women are working side by side and bringing their individual strengths into a trade.”

Lysette was eventually successful in her job search, getting a role at Calderdale College, Halifax.

Now she is working with Fixers, a charity which gives young people a voice, to promote the message that women are more than capable of pursuing successful careers in construction.

She has helped create a film, which was shown to students at the college.

Lysette added: “Throughout history, women have been trying to get into roles that they were not previously invited into – like the Bronte sisters, who were also from Haworth. It’s nice to think I may have a small part in that.”

Among those also supporting the campaign is Dr Gemma Sweeney, business development officer at Huddersfield University’s School of Applied Sciences.

She said: “If you look at tradespeople in general, currently six per cent of the workforce is female, which is very low.

“I believe employers tend to think ‘well, why would she want to do that, would she be able to fit into my team? And women who really want to enter these professions sometimes have to work a little bit harder.”