Lovell is marking International Women’s Day (8 March 2018) by highlighting inspiring female team members as part of its continuing drive to bring more girls and young women into construction.
Although the construction industry as a whole remains male-dominated – national figures show that women make up only 13 per cent of the construction workforce – over a third of employees working for Lovell in the South West and South Wales are women. The business is also led by a woman, regional managing director Kate Rees, who says there has been a major shift in attitudes since she began her career:
‘There should be no barriers to women working in the industry’
“It has been great to see the changes that have happened and more women coming into the business, particularly in site roles. There should be no barriers to women working in the industry and we welcome applications from women for all roles. For us, the important thing is recruiting the right person for the job.
“We put a major emphasis on training and work closely with schools and colleges to help young women and girls understand what the opportunities are within the industry. It’s also about individuals from our organisation promoting the work they do. We want everyone to reach their full potential and encouraging team members to be role models and inspire others is an important part of this. It helps encourage younger women to consider construction careers and also shows people already working for us where they can take their careers. I would encourage any young women to get in touch to see what we can offer. It’s a great industry to be in, you have the chance to make a difference and leave a lasting legacy – that is exciting!” Forthcoming events where Lovell will be inviting women and girls to find out more about construction careers include the Keeping it Equal careers event – which will be attended by hundreds of girls from schools across the West of England and South Wales – at Cardiff City Stadium on Monday, 26 March.
In the South West and South Wales, women work for Lovell building and planning new homes across the region, both on site and in office-based roles.
Laeticia Cartledge, 33, who lives in Bristol, was recently promoted by Lovell to become a trainee quantity surveyor at the company’s office in the St Anne’s area of the city. She joined the industry after an earlier career in hospitality. “At school, I didn’t think a construction career was an option. It wasn’t discussed, although it’s a good fit for me as I’m quite ‘hands-on’ and practical. When I was growing up, I saw my mum doing DIY around the house all the time. When people think about construction, they tend to focus more on the trades side of things, like bricklaying, but not so much the other jobs – like quantity surveying – that are equally part of the business.” After doing a number of jobs in her 20s, including working as a restaurant manager, and gaining an education degree, Laeticia first joined Lovell as a resident liaison officer, having previously worked for a housing association.
She is now developing her career by training as a quantity surveyor, a role which involves managing the costs involved in construction projects. With Lovell’s support, Laeticia is about to embark on a degree apprenticeship during which she will gain her professional qualifications while working. The industry generally, can sometimes still seem a little old-fashioned, she concedes, but at the same time she has noticed signs that the tide is turning: “There is more discussion nowadays about opportunities for women and more focus on encouraging and promoting women’s achievements. Last year I went to the European Women in Construction and Engineering Awards and that was really inspiring while Lovell itself has a number of women in senior positions. It’s an industry that offers a lot of different opportunities. What I like about my job is the variety and creativity: no two days are the same and you are learning all the time.”
Find out more about careers opportunities with Lovell by visiting https://www.lovell.co.uk/careers/