Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features

Feminism: chat

Surely they know you can’t advertise for a “man” when recruiting? Or is it me?

55 replies

Panningforfish · 17/12/2021 17:25

Is it me? I know the construction industry is very male dominant, but have I missed something and they are now allowed to advertise for a “man” to do a role. Have I misunderstood?

Spotted a van on my way into work this morning. It had a sticker on the back with a phone number stating “Experienced mastic man required”. Put me in a total grump driving in. I know man is a shorter word than person. But seriously! Checked out the company tonight and yup, same lovely wording on their Facebook page.

Anyone got any advice on how to challenge/educate them on this?

OP posts:

Thelnebriati · 17/12/2021 21:34

Unless mastic is something you apply using your penis, or there's a legit reason they can't employ a woman for this specific role; they should know its direct discrimination on the grounds of sex.


CheeseMmmm · 18/12/2021 04:42

Guessing company prob small, local v local.

Sticker written/ printed bunged on.

Doubt any more general knowledge on all laws around all areas that might be touched on than general population iyswim.

Yes it's illegal.
I doubt he thought past need mastic application person, sticker car mastic man needed done.
Highly doubt knew it not ok

For me personally I would have passing thought not supposed to do that then forget all about it, others obv not same as me that's fine.


WoodenReindeer · 18/12/2021 04:54

Are there many mastic women? If all the trades people he's met so far are men it does make sense he's assuming a man.

I don't think fighting a local tradesperson is the way to go tbh.


filka · 18/12/2021 05:17

Anyone got any advice on how to challenge/educate them on this?

Apply for the job?


WaltzingBetty · 18/12/2021 05:29

[quote Thelnebriati]Unless mastic is something you apply using your penis, or there's a legit reason they can't employ a woman for this specific role; they should know its direct discrimination on the grounds of sex.[/quote]
Post that link on their Facebook page?


CheeseMmmm · 18/12/2021 05:30

Ah missed challenge/educate.

If you really feel strongly you could send msg on Facebook.

Keep it simple.
Saw your job ad mastic man. Fyi not legal Mastic applicator fine you might want to change that.


CheeseMmmm · 18/12/2021 05:37

I mean I assume you want him to change it?

If he doesn't or kicks off at you then yes he's a dick.

Local small co, or one man band wanting person for a day or 2 even.

Chance deliberate just miniscule, prob doesn't even know.

Just point out v likely job done.

Btw to check name googled job mastic.
Mastic man all over results. Obv totally common term.
So even less chance even thought for a sec when wrote. Just standard wording.


SpamIAm · 18/12/2021 05:43

Mastic Man does seem to be the common term for an individual carrying out this role. Not ideal obviously, but sounds like he's used the standard term for that role rather than he's specifically wanting to recruit a man.


CheeseMmmm · 18/12/2021 05:57

In the end my guess is will change if flagged or won't.

Given standard term guessing not.

Then what?

Go back and press?
Likelihood is tell you stop it go away don't care etc.
Then ..
Keep going?
Big argument ending you being told to get stuffed
Or, they ignore you?

Then . Report? To who? Can't see police doing anything but roll their eyes.
Trade body? Standard term? Jump into action? Unlikely.

Only other things after that I can think of are private prosecution (not sure if possible), time consuming effort to harm reputation via internet. Send boys round? Oops sorry send people round.

Bit mean I know last bit but wrote send boys round and couldn't not, very childish I know.


CheeseMmmm · 18/12/2021 06:10

By way of apology-

Might be more satisfying to do something like-

Try to use female tradespeople you need for jobs and use if any available (and decent reviews etc usual things you do when looking) and hire if available.

If good make sure recommend to everyone you know. Glowing review etc. Chat say prefer women for this stuff can they recommend for other stuff might need.

  • look into if any orgs girls women trades that you could support in some way.

Oh and. Massively male dominated. Difficult for women unless big company/public sector to build up network or build reputation etc I'm sure

I really doubt a woman would be deterred from contacting them about the job at all.

RedMozzieYellowMozzie · 18/12/2021 06:35

Are you applying for the job? Do you know anything at all about it? Or have you just seen common parlance used and decided to "educate" tradespeople about something when you know nothing about it? They haven't posted a job specifically saying only men can apply - you should probably stay in your lane on this one.

Unless of course you are a female mastic applicator and you've been put off applying - there are a few jobs on indeed which state mastic man too. Just in case you want to "educate" more people.


IbizaToTheNorfolkBroads · 18/12/2021 06:59

I’ve got a CScs card, driving licence and a tiny bit of mastic experience. The job has been advertised since April, maybe I should apply??


Panningforfish · 18/12/2021 09:00

I know I’m probably unnecessary irritated by this, hence not just jumping into their Facebook page and being arsey about it and whinging to you guys instead!
Sadly I’m not a time served mastic operative, so not applying for the job. Do you think they’d take me on as an apprentice though! It just made me think that we’ve changed other terms to encompass both sexes eg firefighter, camera operator, chair or chairperson, police officer etc. Women are massively under represented in the construction industry. I totally appreciate that there may be physiological reasons than mean women are less likely to want to work in the industry, but language like this reinforces that.
I went to an all girls school in the 90s. Our careers lessons were basically that we could become a nurse or a flight hostess. Careers in engineering, construction, mechanics weren’t ever mentioned. It just pisses me off that these messages are still out there.

OP posts:

U8976532 · 18/12/2021 09:03

Aww but the pretty hearts are to attract us women surely?


FlatCheese · 18/12/2021 09:08

I suspect it is just the common term in the industry. I doubt any women who want to apply are being put off by it because they already know they're in the minority. Changing the language on a local business's job advert isn't going to make any difference. If you want to change things, get qualified and apply for the job yourself.

I doubt you'd be happy if a tradesman with zero experience of your industry started weighing in with an opinion on your job application wordings.


madisonbridges · 18/12/2021 09:14

If you want the job, just apply for it. I still call my letter and parcel at door delivery person the postman. Bit it doesn't stop there being women postmen, postwomen, post people? I dunno. Anyone who wants the job, will apply for it regardless of their sex/gender whatever. Whole world's a minefield now.


drhf · 18/12/2021 12:20

Good for you, OP. Not sure why "mastic man" has so many defenders here. It's illegal, and while it probably won't deter experienced female sealant applicators, it will put off girls and young women who might otherwise be interested in going into the building trades. It needs to go for the same reasons that "fireman" and "binman" were long ago consigned to the flames / scrapheap.

Email or FB, send a short message, say it's illegal to ask for a man, even though the overwhelming majority of sealant applicators are male, and suggest the ad be changed. Whatever the employer says or does next is not your problem. I'd do it myself but I'm not on FB.

Good for you, OP.


Luredbyapomegranate · 18/12/2021 12:47

It's a standard term I think, like milkman.

Just send a message pointing out they should be rephrasing - which they should - but as a pp says the fact we say postman doesn't mean there aren't plenty of post women, so I would not assume it's because he specifically wants to recruit a bloke.


AyeRobot · 18/12/2021 12:59

If people stop using the term, I won't be able to make the mastic cats and dogs joke 😢

Seeing more and more female site managers coming through in the past few years & I really hope more women go into trades in the future. Quite frankly, it seems there's decent money to be made for not a great deal of capability (attitude or skills) required so it's about time women got a sniff. So, definitely apply anyone who has the background & change from within. Of course, you'll have to be twice as good as the men, but that's par for the course.


GreenWheat · 18/12/2021 13:10

The term is probably common shorthand in the industry. We still use midwife don't we?, but there are male midwives. If you don't want to apply and have no other interest in the role then really don't get involved.


ComDummings · 18/12/2021 13:12

Yeah mastic man is the shorthand name of that job role.


SpittinKitten · 18/12/2021 13:16


The term is probably common shorthand in the industry. We still use midwife don't we?, but there are male midwives. If you don't want to apply and have no other interest in the role then really don't get involved.

"Midwife" is derived from the Old English 'mid' 'wif', meaning "with-woman", as in the person who is with the woman (mother) at childbirth.

It doesn’t describe the sex of the midwife.

EightWheelGirl · 18/12/2021 14:47

Have you never noticed the 'workmen in road' signs? I've never seen anything but men working to be fair.


EightWheelGirl · 18/12/2021 14:49


Yeah mastic man is the shorthand name of that job role.

Like a banksman.

BarbaraofSeville · 18/12/2021 21:49

It's common shorthand rather than deliberately sexist. DP used to be a 'mastic man'. There are probably very few mastic women, but if there are qualified women they can apply and may well get taken on. They just need to be experienced in masticking, like most building trades, there's a shortage and a business boom at the moment.

It's probably a 'trade' that's more accessible to women as it's less physically demanding - obviously there are plenty of women who are strong enough to carry heavy things all day, but it is a factor that disproportionately affects women for other trades.

Similar threads
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?