With International Women’s Day in March being just one example of encouraging gender equality of every kind, members of the Bloor Homes team are keen to show that the UK housebuilding industry is working hard to attract for women into all sorts of roles that have a reputation of being male dominated.
Northampton-based Emily Bishop, Sarah Parker and Holly Bingham hold roles in planning, surveying and design respectively within the housebuilder’s South Midlands division all agree that a sector traditionally almost entirely home to men is starting to see a change, with companies like theirs being more progressive and inclusive in the career opportunities they offer.
Planner Emily always felt a passion for the built environment, following up her degree in Geography with a masters in Planning and Development. She then took a role as planner in local government before joining Bloor in April 2015, keen to experience an exciting, faster-paced and more challenging role. “I was really drawn to the housebuilding industry as I loved the prospect of helping influence the creation of someone’s home,” she says. “It is very exciting seeing the homes which I have planned come to fruition and hearing the fantastic feedback from customers once they have moved in. Certain elements of the industry have historically been male dominated, but I’m delighted to see that changing and look forward to seeing even more women entering the sector.”
Now with 10 years of experience, Sarah graduated in Quantity Surveying from Nottingham Trent University, coming into the housebuilding industry in 2011 after training in the construction in hospitals and schools. “My role as a quantity surveyor means interaction with all internal Bloor Homes departments from planning to sales, and with all of our contractors and suppliers, and it is really positive to see an increasing number of females taking on careers across the full spectrum of the construction chain,” she says. “I am a firm believer that if you are passionate about what you do nothing should stand in your way, certainly not gender. When I was at college I completed a questionnaire which recommended a career in surveying and I haven’t looked back since. This industry is really rewarding as no two days are the same and you really can see the physical results of your hard work. I would encourage any women thinking about their future career to consider what construction has to offer.”
Holly joined Bloor Homes last year as a trainee architectural technician and, with a grandfather who worked in the industry and encouraged her interest in it, saw it being a natural fit for her. She balances her role alongside course work at Moulton College. She says: “I have always known that I wanted to work within the construction industry. When my Grandad used to talk to me about his job it was clear that there were very few women involved but I am very glad to see that things are different now. Moulton College helped me to secure my role with Bloor Homes where gender poses no barriers. Since starting my role I have received so much support from people across the business, the majority of whom have been through the trainee programme. I couldn’t be happier and am looking forward to a long and successful career in the industry.”
Richard Sarraff, managing director for Bloor Homes South Midlands, comments: “We are delighted to have Emily, Sarah and Holly as part of the Bloor Homes team. They all share a genuine passion for what they do and a real determination to succeed, the most important characteristics in any role and ones which we always look for in any new team member, whether male or female.”