A ‘girly girl’ who trained as a plasterer claims that people tell her she’s ‘too pretty’ to do her job.
Melissa Borsellino from Hudson made the move to become a labourer when she developed anxiety at her former job as a bar manager.
The 27-year-old followed in her father's footsteps becoming a plasterer and she says she has ‘never met another woman working in the trade’.
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Despite her career move, Melissa wasn’t willing to part with her glam style, and still sports a full face of makeup, false lashes and hair extensions even if she spends her days on a building site full of men.
She said: “I am yet to meet another woman in the industry… I understand it is unusual seeing a girl turn up with 24-inch hair extensions and false nails, but I have learnt to ignore the shocked faces.
“I needed to leave the hospitality industry because it was making me anxious but I am dyslexic, so my options were limited as I struggle with computers.
“I thought 'what can I do to earn a decent income like a bloke? Then I had a light bulb moment and asked my dad Tony, 56, to let me work with him as he has been plastering for 40 years.
“He was sceptical as I am a girly girl, so I had to prove myself. I did this by painting his shed which has nothing to do with plastering, but I just wanted him to show I am up for manual labour and don't mind getting mucky.
“The transition from bar manager to plasterer hasn't been easy. I couldn't even lift a bag of materials when I first started so I joined the gym and within weeks I was flinging it over my shoulder."
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Her glamorous appearance has been known to cause confusion and doubts in the male dominantly industry and she has even been told she is 'too pretty' to be a plasterer.
But three years into her career she is as determined as ever, making it her mission to prove it isn't a man's world and encourages other women to do the same.
She said: “There's nothing more daunting than having to work on a construction site with just men. It can be patronising, but I have learnt to shake it off.
“I have been told I am 'too pretty' to be in this profession, but I didn't realise there was a certain look for it.
“Some people assume I am a cleaner or labourer, I used to correct them but now I let my work do the talking.
“I have had to earn my respect from other tradesmen or male customers but I am getting better by the day so I can take the banter on the chin.”
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