My parents had instilled in me a strong work ethic, my mum worked as an architect when I was young, and my dad has served in housebuilding his whole life. He has been a big inspiration to me and my decision to work in the construction industry. I often go home to visit my parents. It’s so lovely to be able to sit and talk to my dad about my role, it makes us both realise how much I have learnt and it has created a mutual understanding about our jobs.
I do feel there is a lot more that needs to be done at an educational level to get more women into the industry. It has certainly improved over recent years, but schools should be giving young girls the opportunity to learn more about housebuilding and the career opportunities available to them. There is a natural assumption that it’s all hard hats and muddy boots. In reality, there are so many roles to choose from — customer care and office work to quantity surveying, labour and obviously procurement — and there are many rewards for those who work hard.
- DFT roundtable: What areas of property development finance finance are most underserved?
- Inland Homes receives planning consent for 1,253 new Hertfordshire homes
- Inland Homes secures its largest planning approval to date for 1,725 homes
A typical day in the procurement department involves many tasks. I speak to our established suppliers on a regular basis regarding the products they supply across all our development sites. I oversee any stock issues and explore potential new products for our homes. I liaise very closely with all the internal teams — the sales team to ensure we pick the right products, the technical team to make sure that the property designs work with the products we select for the build and, from a commercial point of view, I need to take into consideration that the price point is right for us as a company, ensuring we are purchasing products that are not only competitive, but are right for the development and local market. I am also closely involved when it comes to writing the development specifications listed within a development brochure. This is something I personally find particularly rewarding.
As a housing developer, we are providing people with a new home, often one of the most expensive purchases they will ever make, so to be involved with selecting the products and features that go into our homes is really important. I also work closely with the pre-construction team at a very early stage of the build regarding costings for materials and supplies for the final project budget.
No day is the same, and I’m lucky to have such a varied role, and that is what initially attracted me. I have a job that I love and a career that I believe I will excel in for life. Over the next few years, I would like to progress and become a procurement manager. At Inland Homes, there is certainly room for this sector to grow and, who knows, I could potentially even get to director level, which would be amazing!