Bellway leads way for women in construction with new appointments
In a traditionally male-dominated industry, Bellway is leading the way for gender equality with the appointment of two women as assistant site managers, one still in training.
Gabriella Iandico is working at Henhurst Fields in her hometown of Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, while Megan Walsh, who’s originally from Leicestershire, is based at Cuttle Brook in Chellaston, Derbyshire.
The pair, who are both aged 27, are employed by Bellway’s East Midlands division, which is based in Leicester. Gabriella started with the company in March, while Megan joined in April.
They both originally left school to pursue an alternative career but both found their way into the building sector and have not looked back since.
Gabriella, who had originally wanted to be a primary school teacher, has worked in construction for the past eight years after hearing about the shortage of women in the industry.
She said: “I got my first job within the industry in 2013, where they soon saw my potential and offered me a trainee management position.
“I completed the management trainee training with this particular company for 18 months then was offered a trainee site manager role after gaining my Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Construction and the Built Environment. During my trainee site manager position I gained my level 6 in Construction Management and hold a Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) black card.
“I was approached by Bellway who offered me a training position at Henhurst Fields, which was perfect as I’m from the area and you don’t usually come across a site job so close to home.”
Megan had a similar journey into the industry, as she studied graphic design at Loughborough University but then decided that career wasn’t for her.
She said: “I’m a very hands-on person and I didn’t want to be sat in an office all day, so I had a break from the design industry.
“My cousin was working for another developer at the time and told me about a planning and engineering role within the company, which is where I began my construction career.
“I was recently approached by a recruitment agency who informed me about the trainee assistant site manager role at Bellway, and I am really glad they did, and I decided to give it a go.
“My partner is a property developer, and my dad is a builder, so I think I was always meant to be in this industry. It’s nice to be able to share this with them – it feels familiar.”
Gabriella and Megan would encourage anyone considering a role within construction to give it a go.
Megan said: “I would definitely encourage any woman looking to work in construction to go for it – there are not enough women in the industry and we can bring a different perspective to the job.
“It does seem intimidating at the start, but it is a really good career to have. It’s very varied and every day is different.”
Gabriella said: “I would say you have to be a strong-minded person to be in my position, but I don’t think women should steer away from the industry. There are a lot of good opportunities and once you have your foot in the door and gain the respect you deserve, everything becomes a lot easier.
“I think as a young person in general, male or female, you have to prove yourself.”
Gabriella and Megan have found their experiences working for Bellway really positive, where they have felt supported and welcomed.
Gabriella said: “I absolutely love feeling part of a team. I feel really supported by management and Bellway.
“I’m looking to extend my knowledge and Bellway has given me the opportunity to do that.
“My site manager, Paul, has been great, really supportive of all my decisions, answers all my questions and is very open and communicative.
“I’ve found the job absolutely amazing overall and I’ve received some really positive feedback from customers, and even won a hamper a few weeks ago being named, ‘customer first hero’!”
Gabriella also received great feedback on National House-Building Council surveys where she was named as having ‘impressed the most’ on site on multiple occasions.
Megan said: “Everyone has been really nice and welcoming. I feel really supported within Bellway and I’ve had a great experience so far.
“Construction is definitely where I see myself staying and once I’ve got the experience behind me I hope to work my way up. Graphic design is now more of a hobby to me – construction is my new career path.”
There’s a range of three, four and five-bedroom homes being built at both Henhurst Fields and Cuttle Brook.
For more information on the properties available at the developments, visit bellway.co.uk or call the sales team on 01332 984304 for Cuttle Brook or 01283 893948 for Henhurst Fields.
- Top left, Gabriella Iandico
- Top right, Megan Walsh
- Inset, Megan and Gabriella of Bellway