Joining the board at Linden Homes South West as finance director in September 2017 was the result of some 20 years of career progress for Jackie Chalmers.
She has found herself succeeding thorough her qualifications, values and ability in a traditionally male-dominated sector, and believes her experience in the industry has played a huge part in rising to her current senior position.
“Throughout my career it has been important for me to truly understand the business I work for,” she says. “Working in finance means that theoretically I could work in any sector, however, I thoroughly enjoy the tangibility of the housebuilding industry. Most people understand the basics involved in the construction of a home and indeed a new community and for me being part of a business that brings this to life is a real pleasure.”
After 10 years working for a financial services company, Jackie moved across to work for a housebuilder for the first time before joining Linden Homes, enticed by the opportunity to work for FTSE250 company Galliford Try. It’s a move she has found very rewarding in an industry trying hard to tackle its traditional image.
“I play an active role across all disciplines in the business getting the opportunity to use my leadership and project management skills developed through my MBA to influence all disciplines as well as my own.”
“Being a woman in the housebuilding industry is very different now to my time in the sector over a decade ago. The volume of women in trades on site is increasing, the attitudes towards women are shifting, and most of all the number of women taking seats at board tables is increasing.”
Jackie’s role is not restricted to the office and board room, with regular visits to Linden’ building sites across the region. “It is important to understand the context and challenges faced by our on-site teams, being able to add value and suggest alternative methods is key to being part of a successful Linden Homes region.”
With her own career aspirations of becoming a regional managing director in the near future, Jackie appreciates that working with experienced colleagues is essential in broadening her knowledge of the sector.
Jackie adds: “Working closely with Bradley Davison, MD, is important for me. I learn so much from him about the technical and commercial aspects of the business, he is also very supportive of my role on the board. He plays a strong mentor role for me and is someone that I appreciate I can learn a lot from over the next few years.”
Bradley returns the compliment: “Jackie has made a huge impact to the team since joining almost a year ago, her knowledge and skills have added value across all areas of the division. I am delighted with her commitment to personal development and will ensure that she has access to all that she needs to continue her sector career here at Linden Homes.”