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International Women’s Day and Women in Construction Week 2022

Today marks International Women’s Day 2022 sitting in the middle of Women in Construction Week (6-12 March) which strives to encourage the next generation of women to enter construction, when discrimination and a lack of equality remain prominent industry challenges.

Women currently only make up around 11% of construction industry professionals across the UK. When looking at the workforce of a new build homes developer, women will often predominantly occupy sales or marketing roles with jobs such as Site Managers and Construction Directors occupied by males.

In celebration, we’re shining a light on a few of our female colleagues across the company with a mini Q&A session!

Planning Manager; Holly Simkiss, joined Stonewood in 2020 after a long stint as Planning Officer at Stroud District Council. 

  • What Challenges have you met as a woman in construction?

Imposter syndrome.  Planning and housing development is a predominantly male environment.  Taking time out to have three children and going back into the workplace part-time was a daunting task.  It takes a long time to reingratiate yourself; to feel respected and self-confident.  Working part-time can make you feel like you are missing out or that you aren’t fully contributing to the job or team.  Having said that, not once has one of my male colleagues ever made me feel less valued as a woman; but it is there as a shadowy self-perception.

  • What are the most memorable compliments you have received?

A colleague recently told me that I was a well-respected member of the team.  It couldn’t have come at a better time and is one of the best compliments I could ever ask for.

  • Who or what inspires you?

My work colleagues.  Their enthusiasm, commitment and dedication to the job is relentless.  Their positivity is contagious and keeps the job exciting and ensures that you always have a team focus, striving for the best.

Assistant Site Manager; Chelsey Salt, joined Stonewood in 2021 

  • What advice would you give to young girls looking to get into construction?

The main piece of advice I would give is to not let anyone put you down or talk you out of it, if you want to get into construction get your head down, work hard and don’t give up, you won’t regret it.

  • What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy handing our lovely homes over to our customers. There’s a massive sense of pride in my job, as I work hard to get the homes up to a high standard and then seeing how excited the customers are when they move in always gives me a great feeling.

  • What challenges have you faced in the industry?

There’s always challenges on a daily basis with details, drawings and tradesman on site, but as far as being a woman goes, I would say that there are far less challenges these days than there were when I first started in the industry. The hardest one was getting into construction but once I got a foot in the door, I haven’t looked back. Women in construction are much more common now, which is great.

Group Head of Sales & Marketing; Jasmine Endersby, joined Stonewood in 2019

  • How do you find being a female in the construction industry?

Generally in construction the male-female diversity is quite low but at Stonewood Partnerships it is 43 per cent female and the roles are spread right across all the disciplines, in construction, technical and commercial, which is great. I am proud to work at a company where women are treated with respect – not just as females but as equals. Everyone’s viewpoint is respected no matter who you are.

  • What do you enjoy most about your job?

I like the versatility and variety my job presents and hearing feedback from customers after they’ve moved into their new homes.

  • What advice would you give to young girls looking to get into construction?

As a mum of three girls, I am all for empowering women to believe they can be anything they want to be. The only way you can break down stereotypes is through education and having role models to inspire people at a young age.

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