Home builder champions women in construction for International Women’s Day

For International Women’s Day, local home builder, Barratt Developments Yorkshire West is shining a light on two of its female employees, who have demonstrated leadership over the last 12 months to inspire more women to consider a career in construction.

Recent statistics indicate that only 12.5 per cent of workers in the construction industry are women, highlighting the need for more work to be done to achieve gender equality in the industry.[1]

The local home builder is committed to bridging the gap between the gender division in the sector by investing in, and offering equal opportunities to all its employees, while also encouraging participation in mentoring groups like Women in Property.

Women in Property is an organisation dedicated to helping create opportunities and to inspire change for women working in the property and construction industry through networking and mentoring.

Senior Strategic Land Manager Jennifer Winyard, who has been a member of the group for 15 years, leads the mentoring programme by matching women from different backgrounds and encouraging them to work together. She has been actively involved in the Women in Property student awards which encourages 2nd year female students into the property and house building industry. Jennifer is also an experienced mentor and has mentored two women during the pandemic.

Jennifer has worked at Barratt Developments Yorkshire West for two years and is a former Chairman and Mentoring Coordinator for Women in Property across Yorkshire and the North East.

During the first national lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Jennifer matched her Barratt Development Yorkshire West colleague, Anna Mason with a mentor from Women in Property to offer advice and give her an opportunity to network with others in the construction industry and further springboard her career with the home builder.

Technical Graduate, Anna Mason became a member of Women in Property during the first national lockdown, during which the organisation ran frequent virtual events, discussions and webinars to give its members advice and guidance on career development.

Anna Mason joined the home builder through its Aspire Graduate Scheme, as part of which she has undertaken several projects to target important areas such as sustainability and waste reduction. Anna has also led a number of business wide fundraising projects, including Million Makers for The Prince’s Trust which has seen the Graduate cohort complete sponsored challenges including a virtual 500km challenge that has so far raised over £200,000 for the charity.

Jennifer Winyard, senior strategic land manager at Barratt Yorkshire West and former chairman for Women in Property in Yorkshire and the North East, said: “It’s fantastic to see women from the construction industry come together through Women in Property’s mentoring programme. It’s really important that the industry becomes more diverse and inclusive and a big part of that is by providing support to those in construction roles and showcasing the fantastic work that they are doing.”

Ian Ruthven, managing director of Barratt Developments Yorkshire West, said: “We are dedicated to diversifying the housebuilding industry and welcoming more women to our team to help them progress their career in construction. We are incredibly proud of the work Jennifer and Anna are doing across the West Yorkshire region and look forward to seeing how  their careers continue to develop.”

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