The gender divide is being torn down by enterprises as increasing numbers of men look to find their fortune in traditional female sectors, a new study has found.
Health and beauty, dress making and dance instructing may sound like trades for women to excel in, but this stereotype now appears to be consigned to the 20th century.
The number of health and beauty firms run by men has gone up by almost a fifth in the last 12 months, according to insurance broker Simply Business, while there are 68 per cent more male cleaners and 22 per cent more male secretaries.
The trendy north London area of Crouch End is home to another businessman whose passion and talents have taken him far beyond tired old stereotypes.
Matt Richardson, who runs The Urban Flower Company, believes enjoying your work is key to succeeding in business, regardless of your gender.
“For me it’s not really a case of jobs being female or male orientated – it’s about having a passion for something and seeing that through and putting your own mark on it,” said Richardson.
“That plays a huge part in having a successful business – you’ve got to love what you do. Your customers pick up on it and I think it really shows when something has been done with care and passion or done half-heartedly.”
Richardson believes the changing landscape of genders in certain sectors could be influenced by media portrayals.
He said: “Changing attitudes in the media help also in erasing stigmas attached to certain professions, and encourage a more accepting and open attitude. Saying that, people I meet outside of the shop seem surprised to find out I’m a florist.”
Richardson got his first taste of working in a florist when he was asked to sweep up and condition flowers as a Saturday job when he was 15. But he soon found he had a flair for flowers and developed a good portfolio of work, while being asked to create arrangements for weddings and events.
“While there are hugely successful and established florists out there, I wanted to be a little different and bring my own take to the industry,” said Richardson. “I also love what flowers bring to people’s lives – they feature in some of the most significant moments of people’s lives, and can carry such different meanings and personality.”