Internachi certified professional inspector
There is a common stereotype of a home inspector being an older male, often times a retired construction worker and I wanted to see for myself if this belief had any basis in reality. While the number of women in our industry has been steadily rising, it is still estimated that between 90-96%(!!) of established home inspectors are men (average age over 50) and my interaction with fellow inspectors makes me believe this is a reasonable estimation.
Why Are There So Few Female Inspectors?
That is a question that I have asked myself: what is the barrier that keeps women from joining our industry? I can say from firsthand experience speaking with some of the biggest names in our industry that there it is no systematic effort to exclude women. I then began looking at reasons why women cannot be home inspectors, or why it might be an extra challenge for them to be successful. Here are the results of both my own research and knowledge of the industry:
Reasons Why Women Should Not Be Home Inspectors
What Can We Do to Change This?
While it’s easy to say that there is little any of us individually can do to change the world, we can take our own positive and constructive steps to move our industry in the right direction. The biggest thing is to change the misconceptions of our industry: you do not need a construction or trades background to be a successful inspector; a customer service background is a huge benefit, and being the most intelligent and skilled home inspector on the planet is useless if you cannot properly communicate your findings.
There is a far too common misconception that being a home inspector is "easy money" since there are exactly zero requirements to become one in most of Canada (including Nova Scotia) and it is easy to set up an inspection company. Let me make it clear from starting a company from scratch that this could not be further from the truth. Our industry has a very high failure rate: about 50% don't make it through the training and while estimates vary, it is believed between 70%-80% will fail sometime in their third year. If anyone, male or female is looking to get rich quick doing an easy job they are looking at the wrong profession.
Women May Have The Inside Edge (no pun intended!)
Not only are there no reasons women should feel excluded, but female inspectors in general also have a lot of advantages in this industry and the biggest one right now is that they stand out. A veteran inspector once said (to an all-male audience) in a way he was glad he didn’t have any women in his service area because if they went head-to-head with his company, they would probably crush him in the marketplace, and I can’t disagree. One of the reasons Inside Edge Home Inspections Ltd. is not a household name yet (at least in early 2022 when I wrote this!) is that, despite the fact I know we are one of if not the best inspection company in Halifax, we can get lost in the crowd of the revolving door of local home inspectors. Let there be no ambiguity on my feelings: I am in complete support of every initiative that helps to bring our industry in line with the diverse demographics we serve and helping to fix this gender imbalance is a logical first step.
In short, can women be home inspectors? YES! Are there any reasons why women cannot or should not become home inspectors? NO! There is no reason for this gender imbalance to exist. I never want to hear my young niece say to me that doing home inspections is a “job for boys”. I know there are presently a large number of women looking to join our industry in the coming years and all I can say is that I welcome them with open arms as it's long overdue.