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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007, 07:15 GMT 08:15 UK
Builders' wolf whistles banished
Builder
A building firm wants to make its sites less intimidating for women
A major building firm is attempting to make its sites more women-friendly by banning the wolf whistle.

George Wimpey South Wales has issued a directive to staff working on all seven of its sites in the region in a bid to put an end to the builders' tradition.

The firm will also be asking its contractors not to wolf whistle.

Welcoming the move, Joyce Watson from the Wales Women's National Coalition described wolf whistling as "very inappropriate behaviour".

The memo to staff was issued by the company's sales and marketing director Richard Goad, who believes the wolf whistle should be a thing of the past.

The company want to make their new-build sites less intimidating for women who could be viewing properties there.

"The reality is that nowadays more and more women visit our sites looking for a new house because many are in a position to afford to buy on their own," said Mr Goad.

"Happy"

"It all points to the fact that we need to look after our female visitors.

"The builders I've spoken to on site are happy enough with the ban. As far as they are concerned, if it encourages more women to visit our developments, then they think it can only be a good thing."

George Wimpey's Cardiff-based sales manager Pam Fitzjohn said personally she was not bothered when she had been wolf whistled on building sites, but that it gave an unprofessional impression if she had clients with her.

"People could take great offence which is not what you want happening when you are trying to sell a property," she said.

Ms Fitzjohn said she thought the majority of contractors would comply with the request.

"If wolf whistling continued I would not have thought it would be turned into a big disciplinary issue, mainly because you can never tell who's actually whistled," she added.

The sites where wolf whistling is banned
3D and Waterquarter in Cardiff Bay
Winchester Gardens, Pontprennau, Cardiff
Parklands in Llanishen, Cardiff
Cae Ffynnon in Abertridwr
Cae Penderyn in Merthyr Tydfil
Cae Sannan in Aberbargoed
The Chase in Chepstow
Joyce Watson from the Wales Women's National Coalition said that wolf whistling was a "semi-sexual comment" and she knew of many women who did not welcome such behaviour.

"Would this sort of behaviour, where people are commenting on appearance, be accepted if they were aiming it an someone from an ethnic minority group?

"You cannot make people feel uncomfortable because they are from a particular group, whoever they are."

Ms Watson also called for more building firms to issue similar directives to their staff and contractors and make themselves more "women friendly".




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