Emma Kaniuk, on the journey to setting up an online directory connecting people to women and gender diverse people in trades.

It was through having renovations done on her own home in Auckland that Emma Kaniuk realised she’d never had a tradie who was a woman walk in her door. There was a decent stream of men– hammers, floor-sanders and drills at the ready– but no ladies or gender diverse folk.


It was then the idea for Emma’s Tradespeople was seeded. "I’d only ever had hands-on tradesmen, so I was keen to flip that around and make it easy for people to find women and gender diverse people in the industry.” A member of various women-focused Facebook groups, she noticed the regularity of people asking for recommendations for things like women dentists and doctors. “But if anyone said something like, ‘do you know a woman builder or plumber in West Auckland’, it was crickets, no one seemed to know anyone.”


A natural curiosity led her to start researching Aotearoa’s trade industry, (she admits often late at night in her pyjamas before bed), and to discover the absence of a resource that connected New Zealanders with women and gender diverse tradies. “It was pretty nerdy, but I started building a spreadsheet of trade operations owned by women. I realised there was demand for it, because everyone I spoke to was keen to have it as a resource available to them. I became known as ‘the one with the trades list’. That encouraged me to...

Want to keep reading? Find the full story, Trading Together, in Womenclan magazine available here.