To mark International Women’s Day (March 8, 2020), we’ve spoken to just some of the super successful women here at Avant Homes on what it’s like to be a female working in the housebuilding sector.
First up, read our interview with senior land manager, Lorna Rider.
Q: What made you choose a career in the housebuilding sector? And what route did you take?
Lorna Rider (LR): “After completing my Masters in Planning and Development, I knew I wanted to progress into a career influencing our built environment. The UK has a clear demand for more housing and working in housebuilding allows for a direct influence in the scale, location and overall quality of our environment.
“I left university in the heart of the recession where opportunities for graduate positions were limited. After undertaking some work experience, I gained a graduate land position within the housebuilding industry.”
Q: Tell us about your typical working day
LR: “My role involves the overseeing of the land purchase strategy for our region, from land searches, negotiations with landowners and agents, to obtaining planning permission.
“Every piece of land is different, being technically challenging, legally complex or planning sensitive – and sometimes, all three!! Therefore, every day can be so different.”
Q: What would you say the best thing about working at Avant Homes is?
LR: “We’re always forward thinking and we challenge convention.
Q: What’s your view on equality in the sector? How have things evolved to be more inclusive for women at all levels?
LR: “Things have dramatically changed in the last decade. I have certainly seen more women enter the sector and progress their careers. The next step would be allowing these women to gain the experience which, in turn, will open doors for opportunities at all levels leading to progression.”
Q: What’s been your proudest moment while working at Avant Homes?
LR: “Every site we complete is a very proud moment, to know you’re directly contributing to the growth of the business is very satisfying.”
Q: How have you developed your skills whilst working at Avant Homes?
LR: “I’ve worked with a lot of very knowledgeable and experienced people during my time at Avant, people who have invested time and belief in me. This has given me the confidence in my ability.”
Q: What would your advice be to women considering a career in the housebuilding sector?
LR: “Do not shy away from opportunities, especially in the sectors within housebuilding. We have a long way to go in the industry but having a balance in each department will give opportunities for all.”