As it’s International Women’s Day today (8 March 2019), Katy Jordan, Storey Homes’ Managing Director, explains what it’s like, as a woman, to have a career in the housebuilding industry
Housebuilders need to do more to appeal and attract women into what is often considered a male-dominated sector, by offering more information and opportunities for women that will encourage them to want to enter the construction and property industry.
Inspired by her father who was a quantity surveyor, who ran a successful private quantity surveying practice, Katy completed a degree in Quantity Surveying at the University of Greenwich. Since, Katy has taken on a variety of different roles in the construction industry, until she joined Storey Homes as Managing Director in January 2015, successfully developing the business to become a profitable housing developer.
I believe that the industry has changed its attitude towards women in recent years but it is still so important to support women in the construction industry.
Women may not have easy access to information about careers in the construction industry, and by providing this, it would definitely encourage more women to enter the world of construction. I believe women are naturally driven to do a good job, complete work to a high standard and often exceed expectations.
However, there are so few women in senior positions in this industry, and I suspect this has a lot to do with women taking a career break to have children. It can be difficult to manage a demanding professional career alongside the responsibilities at home and I appreciate that it doesn’t always suit everyone.
After 29 years of working with pre-dominantly male colleagues, it now feels like second nature to me and it never occurs to me that I am often the only female around the table or in the room. You need drive and ambition to be successful in any career, which is why I think women need to act as positive role models in this industry, in order to encourage more females to see this industry as a good career choice and one that offers future progression.
I think things should start at a school level, I would like to see more done to promote positive role models from the construction industry, making more young women aware of the different roles available to them, and how they could fulfil their career potential within the industry. Offering re-training opportunities to those wishing to get back into the industry after a career break would also be fantastic to see.
The great thing about a career in the construction sector is that you can learn on the job, so it is not necessary to get a degree in a related subject before entering the industry, which makes construction and property very accessible. I’ve loved my career and I would definitely recommend a career in the housebuilding industry to younger girls.