Ginny James

'I would love to see the day when we have a more equal ratio of women building on sites'



Ginny James, sales and marketing director at Vistry South East, started out in the property industry over 15 years ago as a sales adviser at Crest Nicholson after various stints in retail sales.

She quickly rose through the ranks to become a director at housebuilder Vistry Group.

As part of International Women’s Day 2021, Ginny shares her experiences from working in a male-dominated industry and her hopes that gender equality will become the new normal in the housebuilding industry in the future.

“I fell into property by chance many years ago, but pretty much instantly felt that it was the right career choice for me. While I had an expansive sales experience history, I had no prior knowledge of the industry and had to be very determined and adaptable to learn the ins and outs of the industry to thrive and progress in my career.

“Before I joined Linden Homes (now part of Vistry Group) in 2017, I held various sales roles with leading housebuilders, including Gladedale and Fairview, and it was quite a learning curve for me as a woman in a frankly male-dominated industry at that time. At Linden Homes, I was lucky to work with Darren Maddox, managing director of the South East region, who is a firm believer of equal opportunities for all and strongly believed in my skills. His and my my team’s support has helped me grow in confidence and believe in myself.”

Ginny explained how her view of gender inequality has changed since she started working at Linden Homes/Vistry Group. She praises the company’s approach which pioneers equal rights for all regardless of their gender, race, age and background and has implemented a good ratio of men and women sitting in the management team and across all the divisions.

“It’s been so refreshing to see the number of women in the industry now compared to 10 years ago. There are more women carpenters, traders and site managers and even on the management team. Vistry is keen on changing the status quo and works hard to attract more female talent across their more male -ominated roles throughout their apprenticeship programmes. For example, our South East division technical team consists mostly of men, but we now have one apprentice who is a woman. Change is slowly and steadily happening in the industry which is positive to see and something I hope to see continue. I would love to see the day when we have a more equal ratio of women building on sites.”

Ginny firmly believes that the housebuilding industry is the perfect sector to mitigate gender inequality once and for all. She believes that there is room for everyone who has the potential to bring unique talents and skillset to support the wider industry.

“Everybody deserves a chance in life and companies should do more to attract more talent across the board and not recruit for the sake of ‘ticking the right boxes’ to increase a more diverse workforce. I sincerely hope to see a more equal and inclusive housebuilding industry over the next 10 years where anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity or background, can feel like they belong and thrive within their career.” 



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