A young mother who describes herself as “quite girly” says people are surprised to learn she works as a a 32-tonne tipper truck driver.
Christina Demetriou, 31, a single mum from Islington, London, spends her days driving trucks to construction sites.
She drives around London delivering aggregates such as sand, hardcore and soil. People are surprised given the truck driving industry is dominated by men.
“No one can ever believe it”, she said.
“I wear makeup and get my nails done. At a construction site or in the club men get confused. They are like: ‘What is going on?'”
She works in and around London from 6am to 4pm every day, adn says the industry is understaffed so she can always find work.
“I love this job”, she said. “For me it’s something I’m passionate about. I can meet new people and am never in the same place, which is good. I don’t like staying still.”
Construction is one of the most male-dominated industries in the UK.
Just 13 per cent of the construction workforce is made up of women.
Ms Demetriou, who has a daughter, said: “I don’t enjoy the constant stigma about women being truck drivers. You don’t always get treated the same way.
“I definitely get treated differently. Not all men of course but there are some that just see women as objects.”
She added: “I’ve found to do what I do you have to be a certain type of lady – resilient but with a little bit of grit about you.
“Without that you won’t be able to survive.”
Ms Demetriou started off as a driving instructor but found it “boring” so she became a bus driver for two years for Islington Council.
Then she decided she wanted a challenged and started driving for construction.
Ms Demetriou said she would encourage other women considering a similar profession to go for it.
She said: “I would definitely tell her to do it. Tell her to be confident and believe in herself. And not take s*** from anyone.
“If you don’t have confidence you won’t get anywhere, you need to tell yourself you can do it.”
The company Christina works for, RMS in Silvertown, is currently hiring.