Housebuilder Celebrates Women in Construction on International Women’s Day 2023
08 March 2023
Cannock-based housebuilder Jessup Partnerships is looking to encourage talented women into the workforce and has produced a video to mark International Women’s Day to help inspire other women to consider a career in construction.
The video, produced for International Women’s Day, features Jessup employees including Site Manager, Kirsty Lynch and Michelle Howe, a Health and Safety Advisor.
The Office for National Statistics reported that in Q4 of 2022, 2,171,000 people in the UK worked in construction. Out of those people, just 321,000 (14.7 per cent) were women. With a number of female employees already in a range of roles across the company, Jessup is keen to break the stereotype around women working in construction.
Kirsty – Site Manager
Kirsty, 50, worked at Jessup five years ago and recently returned as Site Manager at the housebuilder’s Lower Valley Road development in Dudley. Kirsty previously worked in Health and Social Care for over 20 years, however, decided to take the plunge into the construction industry in her 40s.
“I’ve had to work incredibly hard to prove myself. Being a woman brings a different dynamic to a construction site. For the most part, all the sub-contractors, the supply chain and the community, embrace and support my role, however a minority have to be challenged with education and training. Equality and diversity are the starting points ensuring we have equal rights such as pay, career progression and a voice."
Site Manager, Jessup Partnerships
Kirsty said: “After a long and successful career in Health and Social Care, I decided I needed a new challenge so, I retrained, and gained the necessary qualifications for site management.
“I applied for around 500 jobs to get myself onto site, having no trade background and being female, I did not feel like I was taken seriously. After a while, I eventually obtained a role, but I had to travel around 600 miles a week for work. This position was for a Trainee Assistant Site Manager which led to me being promoted to Assistant Site Manager within two years.
“I’ve had to work incredibly hard to prove myself. Being a woman brings a different dynamic to a construction site. For the most part, all the sub-contractors, the supply chain and the community, embrace and support my role, however a minority have to be challenged with education and training. Equality and diversity are the starting points ensuring we have equal rights such as pay, career progression and a voice.
“This journey has not always been easy, near impossible at times, with archaic and outdated attitudes. Like all good career paths if you want something you have to work at it. Having a supportive employer makes a massive difference, one who supports and embraces the diversity we bring to the role. Changing the rhetoric, change the perspective.”
Michelle – Health and Safety Advisor
Michelle Howe, who joined Jessup Partnerships in 2022 as Health and Safety Advisor, previously worked for a large precast concrete manufacturer as a Health and Safety Co-ordinator. Michelle, who works on sites across the West Midlands said: “Since joining Jessup, I have felt well-supported in my career progression and have received the relevant training to enable my transition from manufacturing to construction.
Picture: a photograph of Michelle Howe, Health and Safety Advisor, on-site at Jessup’s Lower Valley Road development in Dudley. Image Credit: Jessup Partnerships
“I feel well supported by my manager and the site teams that I work with on a daily basis, and my opinions are listened to and valued. I have never felt anything other than welcomed and accepted by the site personnel.
“If I could give any advice to women thinking about starting a career in construction, I would tell them that they absolutely should pursue it. I think that working in construction is far more inclusive than it was five years ago, and there are now a lot more women actually working on site.”
Chris Timmins, Managing Director at Jessup, said: “We are extremely proud to be part of the collective effort to drive more women into the construction industry.
“Through our International Women’s Day video, we hope we can inspire more women to break the stereotype and build a career in construction.”
Watch the Video
Picture: a photograph of Site Manager, Kirsty Lynch, on-site at Jessup’s Lower Valley Road development in Dudley. Image Credit: Jessup Partnerships
Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 08 March 2023
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