8 March 2019
Celebrating International Women’s Day
In the spirit of International Women’s Day we are celebrating our female colleagues and have asked some of them to share their experiences of working in the industry and their thoughts on changing perceptions.
At Paragon we support the introduction and development of women within the construction industry and have recently welcomed a female graduate, Jodie Hickman, within our Early Careers Graduate Programme.
If you are considering a career in construction please get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Jeffs – Submissions Manager
Sam Jeffs began her journey into the construction and fit out industry working on the London Underground with various elements of her role including marketing projects and site visits. Her drive and passion for getting involved within the details of a job has led her to the role of Submissions Manager here at Paragon, where Sam is part of a team that oversees the process and preparation of tenders.
Working with our different project teams, taking on deliverables and focusing on the creative approach to produce quality submissions is what Sam loves about her role. She is proud to be part of a team that really cares and puts in the effort to deliver great submissions that lead to great jobs.
Whilst Sam has experienced some challenges in the past, working in what has always been considered to be a male dominated industry, she feels that things are changing and that the old perception of the industry as ‘bare bums and bricklaying’ isn’t fair; “There is a whole other side to the industry which isn’t often as publicised, working in fit out and refurb especially gives you an opportunity for creativity and the opportunity to be part of the finer details of the end product.”
Yemi Fola-Bolumole – Administrator/Document Controller and Security Liaison for Public Sector Delivery Team
Some women within Paragon would say that they fell into the Construction industry by chance, which is certainly the case for our Public Sector administrator/ Document Controller Yemi, who worked within construction during the day while studying in the evenings. Rather unexpectedly, Yemi found she really enjoyed her role. Juggling multiple projects, adapting to situations and getting things done comes naturally to Yemi and she would encourage young women to really consider a career in construction and fit out as there are so many opportunities and it’s never dull. “Don’t let the fact that you are a woman hold you back. Look for a job that will challenge you and make you happy and accept that can be anything – including construction.”
When asked whether the industry actually wants to recruit women Yemi says “The industry is looking for motivated, talented people that can bring something new, be that a man or woman. My role is accepted and welcomed fully. I get stuff done and that what’s needed!”
Sarah Catterick – Business Development Coordinator
Other members of our team have seen their roles develop as the company has grown, our Business Development Coordinator Sarah started her career at Paragon carrying out customer satisfaction surveys and managing internal communications on project wins and team news. Her background was working within office furniture and fitting out offices as a subcontractor for Paragon, so she was no stranger to the demands of the industry and enjoys the fast-paced nature of what we do. When quizzed about the perceptions of women on site Sarah says we need to change attitudes from within; “I’ve worked on sites in the past where some male colleagues have been surprised at my level of involvement because of industry perceptions, however this is continually changing as more and more women enter the industry, are more visible and respected.”
Working alongside the work winning teams Sarah loves the diversity of her role and the fact that no two days are the same. On the subject of whether women want to work in the Construction industry Sarah says, “ I don’t think that it’s that women don’t want to be in the industry, they just don’t realise the potential and the opportunities available to them, our education system should do more to encourage young women to consider this industry.”