Celebrating International Women's Day
Today, 8th March 2021 is International Women’s Day and we’re marking the occasion by featuring the women who create spaces for people as part of the Open team.
We’ve been finding out what they enjoy most about their roles, what they’ve found challenging and have learned from that, and what advice they would give to other women considering a career in this industry.
So from sales and marketing to projects and accounting, here’s what they had to say…
I started work in Construction in 2008, having had a variety of jobs but all of them involving meeting and talking to people. I joined Open Contracts in 2014. The thing I love about my work is meeting so many of our clients. My job takes me out and about – I am always so impressed by the emerging young talent and am genuinely thrilled when I hear of them passing their exams and moving jobs to better their careers.
There is always a challenge in construction, whether it is getting the job done on time or people that don’t do what they say they will. COVID19 has been a massive challenge for everyone in construction, but by staying positive and embracing technology as we have, I am keeping in touch with people and planning the next few months as restrictions ease.
There has never been a better time for women to join construction. It’s a busy profession and there are so many different career paths as construction opens up, with more emphasis on areas such as sustainability and climate change. Construction seems to be embracing technology and new thinking – all good for women.
While completing my BSc Business Management degree I worked in the property sector and after I graduated, this role at Open came along as an exciting opportunity to start working as a marketer. Now I help Open achieve its strategic objectives by coordinating various marketing strategies – the re-branding campaign that we launched in 2019 was a real success.
Working in a competitive environment that constantly pushes me to learn new marketing trends – especially in digital marketing which is a very diverse field – to be creative and to combine these trends with data analysis, in order to help the business be present on social media and make an impact. This is what I really enjoy doing.
I have learned a lot about our business by visiting our project sites. In the beginning, it was a bit challenging to do that, as it’s still a male-dominated environment. However, our amazing team was always very supportive and helpful, which gave me a lot of confidence. To anyone considering a career in this environment, I’d recommend being open to fast-paced learning!
I have been a Project Manager for Open since 2018. My career background has always been within the property sector and around 15 years ago whilst working for a high-end Interior Design firm I took on a more involved role in the delivery of residential and commercial installation projects. What I love about my work is the variety, as no day is ever the same.
A Project Manager’s role is all about challenges, so it’s hard to pick just one. Each project is different, and with that, your experience becomes wider. It is important to maintain an open mind and never be afraid to ask about things you don’t yet know.
With such a huge array of roles within the Construction Industry, there really is something for everybody. It’s about finding an environment that utilises your own unique skill set.
I am the Office Administrator having joined Open at the start of 2020. I was previously the head receptionist for Michael J Lonsdale.
I like that my day can be varied with lots of ad hoc activities. No day is the same and we have a wonderful working environment with a newly refurbished office space. Like any job, we must prioritise tasks and at times we can feel overwhelmed. I overcame this challenge by having a super supportive team of colleagues who are very knowledgeable and willing to help. If in doubt, ask!
A study published in October 2019 tells us that only 12.5% of the construction workforce in the UK are female. It is no surprise that we may sometimes feel outnumbered by our male co-workers. My advice would be to not let this intimidate you. We are living in changeable times – more and more women are choosing careers in construction. Do not let the imbalance prevent you from trying something new.
My career in finance started six years ago with a real passion for business after I graduated in Economic Management. Once my responsibilities increased and I gained a better understanding of accounting, I studied Accounting and Financial Management too. I love the responsibility and stability this role offers, no matter where you live or how the economy is doing, there will always be a need for accountants!
Having to work from home in these difficult times was a real challenge given the fact that we moved to a new, cloud-based accounting system at the beginning of this financial year. Constant learning and online training definitely helped me overcome this challenge.
I believe that women can work anywhere, regardless of the industry. Whether you are a man or a woman, once you do what you love you will deliver your best!
My background is HR – my previous role as Director of People & Place was for an environmental charity. I joined Open three years ago to help the Director (who is also my husband) achieve his ambitious and exciting plans for growing the business. I enjoy the fact that I get to work with a great team of people in a fabulous office space.
Introducing new ways of working so we could become more flexible and grow as a business was probably my greatest challenge. As always, the key to any change process is clear communication and leading by example. What have I learned? That people can and do enjoy change once they see the benefits. And to anyone entering this industry I would say – just be yourself, trust your instincts and enjoy what you do!