International Women’s Day: Head of Customer Care & Estates, Sharon Martin

Sharon, Mum of two, joins Thakeham with 28 years’ experience as part of the Senior Management Team. As Head of Customer Care and Estates, Sharon’s incredible knowledge and boundless enthusiasm has proven invaluable to the Thakeham Team – here she explains to us how she got here.

I’ve enjoyed an exciting, varied career in the Property and Construction Industry, one that’s offered me constant challenge and opportunity. Growing up, I’d never considered a future in property- but looking back, on all my experiences and achievements, I know now there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

Discovering a passion

My journey began some 28 years ago. Beginning my career as a trainee Estate Agent, I found my calling within the industry. Going on to work for a global property and construction consultancy in London and then onto a small Sussex house builder, it was here I cemented my passion in new homes construction. I set up their customer service department with an experienced Contracts Manager- who taught me everything there was to know about my field.

As I began my career, it became clear very early on that, as a woman in a male-dominated industry, I needed to be resilient. I found that, on occasion, it would be assumed that I only knew about the ‘fluffy finishes’ rather than the technical detail – but we’re entering a time where this is changing, and it’s really exciting to be a part of that.

Succeeding in Construction

Conquering this industry has been all about forming relationships. I’ve found, as a woman, I’ve sometimes needed to encourage colleagues to consider that we’re all working towards a common goal; producing the best product we possibly can. I’ve made sure I’ve never been afraid to ask for advice when needed and have always carefully selected employers that enforce these messages from senior management level.

Our industry has trying times ahead, with new government policy looming, more property generation needed as well as potential workforce and skills shortages. We’ll all need to work hard to adapt, so working as a team, regardless of gender is more crucial than ever.

Supported and nurtured

It’s important to me that I feel supported to do my job to the best of my ability, and at Thakeham, I do. The acknowledgement of International Women’s Day is just the beginning, within this industry it’s so much more than that. It’s about proving that gender is irrelevant and that talent, passion and knowledge is what counts.

Lastly, to any women considering a career in Construction – go for it, you won’t regret it. As long as you begin each day willing to learn, wanting to succeed within part of a team and ready to ask questions and grow, this is the path for you.

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