To mark International Women’s Day (Thursday 8th March) a number of developers have been highlighting the roles women play in their business and the opportunities within the construction sector.
Cardiff-based partnership homes developer Lovell is marking International Women’s Day by highlighting inspiring female team members as part of its continuing drive to bring more women into construction.
Although the construction industry as a whole remains male-dominated – national figures show that women make up only 13 per cent of the construction workforce – over a third of employees working for Lovell in South Wales are women. The business is also led by a woman, Regional Managing Director Kate Rees, who says there has been a major shift in attitudes since she began her career: “It has been great to see the changes that have happened and more women coming into the business, particularly in site roles. There should be no barriers to women working in the industry and we welcome applications from women for all roles. For us, the important thing is recruiting the right person for the job.”
“We put a major emphasis on training and work closely with schools and colleges to help young women and girls understand what the opportunities are within the industry.”
Forthcoming events where Lovell will be inviting women and girls to find out more about construction careers include Keeping it Equal – the largest girls’ careers event in Wales – at Cardiff City Stadium on Monday, 26 March.
Handover Quality Manager Katie Bagley, 37, is part of the company’s site team at The Mill in Canton, west Cardiff, where her role is to monitor the build-quality of the 800 homes which Lovell will build through one of Wales’ largest regeneration programmes.
During her 18-year career Katie has worked as a site manager on new homes developments across south Wales. “Attitudes have changed and more doors are open now. When I was at school I remember asking about career options in construction and the careers adviser laughed at me. Lovell is the first company where I have worked to have so many women in high positions and it’s inspiring to think where my career could go.”
With a number of female employees already in a range of roles across the company, housebuilder David Wilson Homes Southern is reminding women of the different roles available and is encouraging them to put their experience into the industry.
Paul Crispin, Managing Director at David Wilson Homes Southern, said: “We want to quash the age old stereotype that the construction industry is a male dominated field as we have many women who work out on site as well as in office based roles. With a range of departments within the company, we want to remind women that there are a variety of different roles that can be offered within the business that have great benefits and excellent opportunities for career progression.”
John Elliott, Managing Director at Millwood Designer Homes commented: “It is fantastic to see more women making the move in the house-building sector and International Women’s Day presents the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate our female employees. At Millwood, we support all members of staff throughout their career and encourage progression based on merit, promoting within the company wherever possible. We are lucky to have a dedicated team of professionals committed to our end goal of building high quality, beautiful new homes.”
Lorna Vince (37), who joined Millwood in 2017 as an Assistant Project Manager, said: “Regardless of gender, there’s always going to be different characters which can make work interesting, sometimes challenging, but at Millwood we all work together. There is always going to be demand for housing and the skills required to successfully deliver them, so I definitely think that careers in the construction industry should be promoted more in schools generally including towards girls.”
Melody Andrews (20) has recently joined the same team as Lorna at Millwood as an Assistant Project Manager. Melody said: “From the age of 13, I wanted to get into the construction industry. I studied Design Technology at GCSE Level as I thought it would be the most relatable, however I think there should definitely be more courses out there to help progress women’s careers in construction and house building. My dad works in the construction industry, so he was able to organise work-experience for me, which lead onto an apprenticeship scheme. I am currently completing a BTEC Course in Construction at College and in September I plan to go to Greenwich University to study an Honours Degree in Quantity Surveying.”
Photo: Lovell Handover Quality Manager Katie Bagley on site at The Mill in Cardiff