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International Women’s Day: Women Working In Construction

We sat down with our Group HR and Office Manager, Parhys, to learn about her experiences as being a woman in construction and how Alderley Group our empowering women in the workplace…

Tell Us About Your Career Journey To Date

I started my careers as an Administrative Assistant at a commercial cleaning company back in 2015. After spending nearly 2 years in the role and gaining great experience I made the move to my role as an Executive Administrative Assistant under an apprenticeship scheme studying BA Business Administration at a metal Fabrication engineering company called RnB Engineering. Throughout my 5-year tenure at the company I progressed multiple times and ended my employment with them as the Office Manager and HR Advisor. During my time at RnB Engineering, I was offered the opportunity to take a fully funded CIPD training course to help develop my skills further and progress into HR Management, which would also help the business.

In late 2021, I joined the Alderley Group team as the Office and HR Manager. I was excited to join the start-up company, which has grown significantly during my time and made great progress as a business. During my time at Alderley Group, I have progressed into the role of Group Office & HR Manager for both Alderley Group for both Alderley Group and Complete Construction. It is great to feel supported by management and my dedication is always noticed.

What Led You To Pursue A Career In Construction

Construction was not always my focus, my career was always on the realms of business development and finance. However, after being offered an opportunity at my previous role, the transition to HR was a natural one and progressing this from one side of the sector to property development seemed again like a natural progression for me.

What Do You Enjoy Most About Your Role?

I enjoy mostly the visual of seeing work being done and how quickly work can be done from the ground up, within the construction industry constantly evolving as expectations, laws and guidelines grow, projects become more complex and technology forever improving, we continually need to find more innovative ways to design, build and deliver which creates opportunities for new employees with fresh ideas and methods, this allows me to be a part of the recruitment process to employ new members of the team with new ideas and skills for new projects and also allows me to create opportunities here at Alderley Group and Complete Construction for existing employees, working with them to provide training in all areas of the business. I find it very rewarding seeing our employees achieve and knowing that I was a support in their success.

My role is extremely diverse, I can make an impact across different areas of the business and work to make people’s roles easier. I gain a lot of satisfaction from the improvement of efficiencies across the business, providing specialised support to management and the board to develop a strong company culture.

Have You Faced Any Barriers In Your Career Because Of Being A Woman? If So, How Did You Overcome Them?

Unfortunately, we still live in an unequal society where women face more career barriers than men. Personally, I have always seen barriers as an opportunity to prove myself to get to the next level. I think working across the construction industry, being a women in the business means that generally you are part of the minority, this can cause there to be a lack of relatable connections with employees or a lack of understanding. However, I have always found that at Alderley Group the environment has always been inclusive, meaning I have not had to work to overcome barriers that others may face in the property/construction industry.

As someone who is aware of the challenges that others face, where I am leading the company culture of the business, I continually work to improve diversity and inclusion, ensuring that nobody else within our business must overcome barriers.

What Kind of Influence do you Strive to have on your Female Colleagues and the Wider Business?

It is important for me to ensure that female employees are seen and heard and that the business implement changes to promote equality within the industry.

What Message do you think is most important for Women thinking about a Career in Construction?

I think it is important to remember that women should not be judged based on their gender and should be valued on their knowledge, skills and ability within the industry. The industry should be promoted as a viable and rewarding career for all genders.

What Are Alderley Group doing to Support Women in the Workplace, or Diversity and Inclusion in General?

Alderley Group are a business that prioritises diversity and inclusion, not just on a site level but across the wider business. With a stringent diversity and inclusion policy we work to attract, recruit and retain a diverse workforce as we are aware that a mix of individuals will allow us to have new ideas, perspectives and experiences that will allow us to improve the skillset of our workforce.

Ensuring women are represented in construction, which as an industry we significantly under-represent, is particularly important to Alderley Group, we have a workforce of 17% women, which is above the industry average of 15% and continually work to ensure women are represented in our workforce and empowered to progress.

We eliminate an biases and stereotypes throughout our employee lifecycle, from recruitment through to promotion. As Group HR & Office Manager, I am continually developing and implementing policies to support work-life balance and reducing the global gender pay gap, by promoting equal pay. Alderley Group and Complete Construction create an inclusive and supportive workplace culture that empowers women to succeed.

Authors & Contributers

Lauren McDiarmid


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