Monday, April 18, 2011

FAQ: "Are There Female Butlers?"

As a male butler in an American billionaire's home I've often been asked this question as to whether or not there are female counterparts. The quick answer is yes, but let me explain.

I read a quirky article (in the Boston Globe, I think) that said about ten percent of butlers world-wide are female gendered. But in America, this percentage is much, much higher. However, instead of the title Butler it seems female-gendered candidates in this position are more often referred to as House Managers or Personal Assistants.

But to be such you must have not only Personal Assistant skills for secretarial work, such as book keeping, organizing, personal shopping and so forth - but you must also know how to run a house filled with museum-quality furniture, plus entertainment skills for all the parties and events. Things such as the following:

-Keeping a household budget and paying bills.
-Setting a formal dining room table.
-International protocol for dealing with guests.
-Hiring and training staff, from making luxury beds to sterilizing telephones.
-Fabric care - not only for clothes but also for furniture fabrics and carpets.
-Deal with vendors and contractors and negotiate the best rate.
-Trouble-shoot anything from a dying orchid to a water heater or swimming pool pump going out.

To those who have shown interest, these are acquirable skills from any butler or house staffing school in the country, and there are several good ones on Google.

So if you're curious about going into this profession, as far as I can see gender is not really an issue, certainly not here in America. But knowledge certainly is!

Hope this was helpful, and thanks for stopping by,



  1. If knowledge is a must, that takes me out of that profession!

  2. No, it doesn't! These are all acquirable skills. If you're really interested in the profession, just check out all the Housestaff schools and agencies, on Google.

  3. Hello Andrew,

    I was hired as a personal assistant for the lady of the house, but gradually more and more is dumped on my shoulders in regards to running the house. I'm having to learn as I go along, and reading your articles has helped a lot. But I start to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Any thoughts? Angie

  4. Hi Angie!

    I sympathize with you completely! It's called job creep! And rich employers are famous for this. The more you give, the more they want.

    But at some point you'll figure out where to put your foot down, and say no!

    By any means, don't let your employers overwhelm you! There's too many jobs out here with employers who will respect your time, your energy, and your job description!