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Celebrating Avant’s women in housebuilding: Amy McFaulds, architectural manager

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In celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8, 2020), we want to shout out loud about the fantastic females working at Avant Homes!

For the second feature in our series, we’ve spoke with our architectural manager, Amy McFaulds, to get the inside scoop on working in the housebuilding sector as a woman.

Q: Tell us about your typical working day (i.e. tasks, meetings, discussions)

Amy McFaulds (AM): “At Avant, there is no such thing as a typical day. My day may consist of responding to emails, internal meetings, writing reports, visiting sites, speaking to site teams and liaising with all departments. The days are varied and always busy!”

Q: What made you choose a career in the housebuilding sector? And what route did you take?

AM: “My background is in architecture. I studied at Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow, becoming fully qualified in 2006 after completing an honours degree (BArch), post grad (PGDip) and taking my part 3 examinations (ARB). 

“I worked in a private practice as a project architect for another 6 years, working on a lot of different projects in education, residential and custodial sectors. I relocated to the North East in 2012 and took a position at housebuilding company in the technical team. This was my first experience in housebuilding and I loved it!”

Q: What would you say the best thing about working at Avant Homes is?

AM: “The whole company is driven to succeed.  It has an honest approach to housebuilding and fully support its people to progress their careers. There also isn’t an ‘us and them’ environment, it’s a family that works collaboratively.”

Q: Name three characteristics you would say are needed to work in the housebuilding sector.

AM: “Resilience as it can be an unforgiving sector at times. Flexibility, not in the yoga sense but in the ability to adapt yourself to many different challenges that come your way. Passion to succeed and achieve your targets as in this industry the rewards can be great.”

Q: What’s your view on equality in the sector? How have things evolved to be more inclusive for women at all levels?

AM: “Certain roles in housebuilding have historically been exclusive to men. It isn’t that the opportunities aren’t out there, but the view that you need to be a particular type of person with thick skin has put off women becoming site managers or senior board members.”

“Smaller newer companies in the sector are probably leading the way, like Avant.  We don’t have that historical legacy of aging male board members that are not willing to change and adapt. If you’re talented and show passion, there is no reason why you should not succeed.”

Q: What would your advice be to women considering a career in the housebuilding sector?

AM: “Definitely do not be put off by the perceived level of men in roles, this is changing.  If you get into the right organisation like Avant you can make a real difference. Be determined and work hard and you will succeed.”

Q: What aspirations do you have for your career at Avant Homes moving forward?

AM: “I want to move my career forward with Avant, I have aspirations of being a technical director one day and increasing our female board presence in the region to 4 which would be amazing!”