West Midlands housebuilder in drive to help more women into construction industry

A Staffordshire housebuilder says it is determined to encourage women into the workforce in an industry which has traditionally been predominantly dominated by men.

Site Manager, Kirsty Lynch, on-site at Jessup’s Lower Valley Road development in Dudley.
Site Manager, Kirsty Lynch, on-site at Jessup’s Lower Valley Road development in Dudley.

Cannock-based housebuilder Jessup Partnerships say it's important that businesses in the industry look to inspire women to consider a career in construction.

Their call comes as The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that ion the last quarter of 2022, 2.1 people in the UK worked in construction but just 321,000 – 14.7 per cent – were women.

Chris Timmins, Managing Director at Jessup, said: “We are extremely proud to be part of the effort to drive more women into the construction industry. We hope we can inspire more women to break the stereotype and build a career in construction.”

Site Manager, Kirsty Lynch, on-site at Jessup’s Lower Valley Road development in Dudley.

Kirsty Lynch is among those who have taken the step into the industry.

She has worked at Jessup five years ago and is site manager at the housebuilder’s Lower Valley Road development in Dudley.

She worked in Health and Social Care for over 20 years but decided to take the plunge into the construction industry in her 40s.

Kirsty said: “I decided I needed a new challenge so, I retrained, and gained the necessary qualifications for site management.

“I applied for around 500 jobs to get myself onto site and having no trade background and being female, I did not feel like I was taken seriously. After a while, I eventually obtained a role, but I had to travel around 600 miles a week for work. This position was for a Trainee Assistant Site Manager which led to me being promoted to Assistant Site Manager within two years.

“I’ve had to work incredibly hard to prove myself. Being a woman brings a different dynamic to a construction site. For the most part, all the sub-contractors, the supply chain and the community, embrace and support my role, however a minority have to be challenged with education and training. Equality and diversity are the starting points ensuring we have equal rights such as pay, career progression and a voice.

“This journey has not always been easy, near impossible at times, with archaic and outdated attitudes. Like all good career paths if you want something you have to work at it. Having a supportive employer makes a massive difference, one who supports and embraces the diversity we bring to the role. Changing the rhetoric, change the perspective.”

Michelle Howe, Health and Safety Advisor, on-site at Jessup’s Lower Valley Road development in Dudley.

Michelle Howe, who joined Jessup Partnerships in 2022 as Health and Safety Advisor, previously worked for a large precast concrete manufacturer as a Health and Safety Co-ordinator. Michelle, who works on sites across the West Midlands said: “If I could give any advice to women thinking about starting a career in construction, I would tell them that they absolutely should pursue it.

"I think that working in construction is far more inclusive than it was five years ago, and there are now a lot more women actually working on site.”

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