A female assistant site manager from Dorset has addressed three myths associated with working in construction as a way of encouraging more women into the industry.
Victoria Grinnall, 27, works at Barratt Homes’ Quarter Jack Park development in Wimborne. Before joining the leading housebuilder in 2021, she came up against many misconceptions about working in the industry, which she hopes to dispel so that women can see how attractive a career in construction can be.
As someone who formerly served in the armed forces as a Royal Engineer, being the first female to drive armoured vehicles before going on to work for a youth engagement programme for schools about careers in the army, Victoria is passionate about encouraging the next generation of construction workers.
In her latest video about Women in Construction, Victoria talks to Barratt Homes about what it’s like working in the industry and covers these three myths:
Myth 1 – construction is still dominated and run by men
“Some roles are still dominated by men, but that’s because there still aren’t enough females – yet,” says Victoria. “My experience of working in construction is feeling supported, valued, and trusted. At Barratt, we have yearly subcontractor meetings, where teams are told by directors in the business how to treat and respect others, as part of the Diversity and Inclusion programme.
“Women can bring so much to the role, and I’d encourage them to do as much research as they can if construction is an industry they are interested in. It’s nice to see that Barratt want to bring more women into the business – and it shows.”
Myth 2 – there’s a massive stigma around women working in construction
“I don’t think there is enough of us just yet to say there isn’t a stigma, but it isn’t as big as it used to be – and I certainly rarely come across it,” Victoria continues. “If anything, I find people to be open minded and curious. They enjoy learning more about what I do – and I am happy to tell them all about the role I love!
“There are so many avenues for women in the construction industry and there is a huge variety of career choices, whether that is office-based or site-based. Barratt will help women wanting to get into the industry and you’ll have a really supportive team around you – so I hope one day that stigma wont exist.”
Myth 3 – my family won’t approve of my career choice
“I think my family knew better than I did that this was the right career path for me!” Victoria said.
“I like being outside, I’ve always liked being active, and I have never been someone to sit behind a desk. They often tell me this is what I was made to do!
“For those who are worried about how a role in construction may be perceived by friends and family, you might be surprised that their reaction isn’t what you think it’ll be.”
Barratt Homes’ Diversity and Inclusion programme officially recognises and celebrates differences across the whole organisation. The Programme was established in 2022 to help challenge behaviours and address specific or unique needs and perspective of all employees, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
James Dunne, Barratt Homes Managing Director, Southampton Division, said: “Our Diversity and Inclusion programme is an important step in addressing the needs of our workforces and helps us assess the way we work as a company.
“Encouraging diversity is key to building a strong business, as we can attract more people who will want to stay in roles where they feel comfortable and can be themselves.
“Victoria is a great advocate for women working in construction and has inspired many women into joining the industry – we’re pleased to support her all the way.”
The full Women in Construction video is available on Barratt Homes’ YouTube channel here:
Barratt Homes is building new homes across the region. For more information on new developments in Dorset, visit: Quarter Jack Park, Compass Point.
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