I’m a female plumber and biker

A FEMALE motorbike racer who works in construction has opened up about defying gender expectations.

Ashley Cosseboom, 33, a plumber and tiler, from Exeter, New Hampshire, who currently lives in Deerfield, revealed that men have told her she doesn’t belong on a bike or in construction.

Motorcycle enthusiast Ashley Cosseboom shared the backlash she receives for her hobby and her work in the construction industryCredit: Caters
Ashley recently set a personal best on a 1.6-mile racecourseCredit: Caters

She told The U.S. Sun: “Entering the construction field was a decision I made when I was 18.

“My father has been a self-employed plumber for 40 years so I started working for him on and off straight out of high school,” Ashley said.

The passionate biker explained that while she did give a few other potential career paths a whirl, she was drawn back to plumbing every time.

“I did try a few jobs in some other fields, but I always found myself coming back to plumbing, I love working with my hands,” she said.

“It was motivating to go to work every day and have a task to try to finish by the end of the day, instead of sitting around waiting for the clock to hit eight hours,” Ashley explained.

She continued: “By the time I was 22, I was working for my father’s business full-time.

“I did that for 10 years until I was diagnosed with severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both of my hands,” Ashley said.

“After I had surgery on my right hand, I decided to make the switch to an easier trade,” she explained.

“My husband learned how to tile at a commercial company before going out on his own so in the spring of 2022, I decided to put down the plumbing tools and pick up a trowel,” she said.

Ashley explained that this new career path has been a lot easier for her physically, and it has come with an added bonus – the opportunity to get creative.

She said: “Not only is tiling a little easier on my body, but I absolutely love the creativity and design aspect of it.”

The biker explained that while her friends and family have always been supportive of her work in construction, she has consistently had eyebrows raised about her unusual career path.

The 33-year-old previously worked as a plumber before becoming a tilerCredit: Caters

“The biggest assumption that people have is that I have no idea what I’m doing because I’m a woman,” she said.

“I don’t think people, mostly men, trust me as a female tradesperson as much as a male,” Ashley explained.

She has also faced backlash after she started posting about her career on TikTok.

“I have experienced some negative comments, mostly from men online,” she added.

“They’ve said things like, ‘Women don’t belong in the trades’, and ‘We work in the trades to get away from women,'” Ashley said.

But while some men haven’t approved of Ashley’s career, she has been pleasantly surprised by people too.

Ashley has received both positive and negative responses to her work in the construction industryCredit: Caters

She said: “I’ve also experienced a lot of positive comments from surprised homeowners when a female shows up to fix their sink.

“I am no different than a smaller-sized man, if something’s too heavy to lift, I ask for help,” Ashley said.

She added: “I have never allowed the fact that I am a female to hold me back in any way.”

Ashley hasn’t just faced backlash for defying gender expectations with her construction work, she said she’s also been slammed for riding motorbikes too.

She revealed: “The racing community itself is pretty welcoming to women, but I have received negative comments from men online saying that women don’t belong on motorcycles.”

However, Ashley doesn’t let this criticism bother her, and she even set a new personal best on the race track, bagging herself a time of one minute and 24 seconds on a 1.6-mile racecourse.

“My advice to other women is don’t ever let yourself think you can’t do something,” she stressed.

“You can do anything you put your mind to, and you can certainly do anything a man can do!”

Ashley shared her encouragement for any women hoping to pursue a traditionally male hobby or careerCredit: Caters

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