Michaela Martin, a native of the Isle of Wight and currently working there with David Wilson Homes, has recently been recognised for excellence by the National House Building Council (NHBC) for the standard of her work as a site manager.
Michaela is one of 74 site managers working under the Barratt Developments brand names – David Wilson Homes and Barratt Homes – to win at the Quality Award stage in the annual NHBC Pride in the Job awards for 2017, and one of just two women for the company in this year’s awards, at a time when the NHBC itself is an active voice in a push to get more women involved in the UK’s housebuilding sector.
Michaela is working at Riverside, a development in Whippingham, close to East Cowes on the north of the island, and has trodden an interesting path before earning her national award.
Upon finding out her local college didn’t have a course to pursue her original ambition in interior design, she switched to carpentry and joinery, believing these would be useful skills to have in the future. It was a talk from women in construction – in roles such as a plumber, quantity surveyor and architect – that really changed the focus of her career.
Applying to a number of companies initially, it was Barratt Developments and offered her an apprenticeship as a carpenter ten years ago and she has subsequently worked her way to assistant site manager before taking her current role, where she gets most joy from seeing planning and organisational complexities leading to customers delighted to move into their new homes.
“Winning this is everything I have ever worked for,” says Michaela. “You can probably see my smile from space.”