Thakeham Celebrates International Women’s Day 2017

International Women’s Day – Wednesday 8th March 2017

Scroll down to meet the latest of our #ThakehamWomen and share their stories!

At Thakeham we welcome the opportunity to celebrate International Women’s Day, and we believe we have a story to share.

We are a fast growing company with big aspirations and values to match. As we have grown, our team has expanded quickly and we are delighted to provide new and exciting opportunities for plenty of women.

International Women’s Day is a globally celebrated occasion, acknowledging the extraordinary social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Women have, and continue to, work hard for the causes they believe in, which differ hugely all around the world. As we continue to make good progress, the journey continues.

To mark this year’s #BeBoldForChange campaign, Thakeham is celebrating a number of wonderful stories from some of the wonderful ladies in the Thakeham family. Within the construction industry we pride ourselves on moving against the trend. In a largely male dominated sector, Thakeham’s staff at Head Office are 40% women; ambitious women at that!

We believe this is a number to celebrate!

A shocking statistic released earlier this year by YouGov and commissioned by RICS, demonstrated that almost 30% of young women believe that jobs in construction are for men alone. This year, for International Women’s Day, we are hoping to influence this statistic and attract more woman into housebuilding.

Watch this space over the next week as we release a daily story

These accounts are inspiring reminders that a supportive, encouraging working environment can nurture incredible careers and enable impressive achievements, regardless of gender. Allowing individuals to grow personally and professionally within surroundings in which they feel valued and appreciated.

Sophia’s Story

Our Head of Planning, Sophia, leads an exceptional team of talented women through an extremely busy time for Thakeham. Here, Sophia tells us how the company’s rapid expansion and her recent promotion have made for an inspiring environment for her and her team.

“Since joining in 2013 as a Chartered Town Planner, the company has grown substantially. The Planning Team has kept pace and continues to successfully promote Thakeham’s strategic land portfolio. Thanks to the team’s hard work, we are now progressing high profile strategic schemes across the whole of the South East.

“With the expansion of the team, I was delighted to be promoted to Head of Planning in December 2016. As a woman in a male dominated industry, this level of promotion is often seen as more challenging and I am extremely proud of this achievement.

“I am privileged to manage what some may regard as an unusual team in the housebuilding sector – a 90% female team. Three of our four Chartered Town Planners are women and the next member of our team to apply for membership is also female. At Thakeham we are lucky to have a supportive employer who allows us to build upon our own professional competence to achieve personal and career goals. Within the team we share knowledge, we problem solve, we devise strategies, we support one another and importantly we all share in the pleasure and pain of planning application successes and failures.

“I hope that our story as women working within an unusual team, within a male dominated industry, inspires women to look to construction and housebuilding as a career path and to believe that anything is possible.”

Georgie’s Story

Georgie is one of the most recent additions to the Thakeham family. After graduating, she found her initial job searches intimidating; but when meeting with Thakeham, Georgie finally felt this was a setting that matched her ambition. Here, she chats to us about how Thakeham has welcomed her into an exciting, inspiring department and how the company has supported her in her first job since leaving university.

“After graduating in 2016, I was filled with a mixture of enthusiasm, excitement and dread. I’d loved every minute of my experience in education and the thought of having to put it all into practice was daunting. With a creative degree behind me, I made the decision to combine my passion for property, interiors and architecture with my experience in marketing. After a long and frustrating job search, the offer of a Marketing Graduate role at Thakeham seemed too good to be true.

“From my first interview with Thakeham, I felt that it was the kind of environment I wanted to work in. Interviewed by three extremely inspiring, determined women, I knew Thakeham would provide nurturing and encouraging surroundings whilst also challenging and enabling me to grow in my first job after university. The Marketing Executive, Head of Marketing and the Sales & Marketing Director are all extraordinary women, with excellent work ethics and impressive experience to boot. I knew that working alongside people like this would drive me to achieve.

“Now I’ve settled into my new role, I know that these high standards are not exclusive to my department – they apply to the whole company. I feel genuinely empowered coming to work with such an interesting, ambitious group of women and I look forward to further establishing my career in such a positive environment, safe in the knowledge that I can achieve anything I work hard enough for.”

Charlotte’s Story

The third story for our International Women’s Day campaign comes from the Personal Assistant to the Sales & Marketing Director. Returning to work after having a baby can be daunting – Charlotte, who’s been part of the Thakeham family for 4 years, tells us how Thakeham made her return both flexible and welcoming.

“Having worked for Thakeham as Customer Care Manager, I took a year off to have my first baby. At the end of my maternity leave I was keen to continue my career and to return to Thakeham; preferably in a part-time capacity. A position had recently become available within the company as PA to the Sales & Marketing Director which ticked all the right boxes. A new and challenging role which would allow me to work part-time at Thakeham and stay at home with my daughter for two days a week.

“Returning in a new position has allowed me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the industry I have worked in for a number of years, but from a completely different angle. In Customer Care I was dealing with the tail end of the business, now I’m involved from the very beginning of a customer’s journey with Thakeham; from processing a purchaser’s reservation through to dealing with the legalities of the purchase.

“Having been back at work for a couple of months I feel settled into my new role, safe in the knowledge that across the business, I can turn to any one of my colleagues for guidance or assistance, if needed. My work life balance is great; I have time to be grown-up me while still being able to be ‘Mummy’.”

Katherine’s Story

Katherine has recently joined the Thakeham team, adding invaluable experience to a fantastic Planning department. Here, she chats about how an impressive percentage of female staff contributes to a happy, positive environment at Head Office.

“I recently joined Thakeham as the new Planning Manager in an expanding Planning team. The decision to move from consultancy to developer was not an easy one, however when I met with Thakeham I was impressed by the nature of the company and the land portfolio they held. For my career progression, I felt it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

“Two months in, and I know I made the right decision. Everyone in the Planning team, and the company as a whole, has made me feel very welcome. What really makes Thakeham stand out for me is the number of women here at Head Office and it’s so refreshing to work as part of a largely female team led by a female Head of Department. I feel extremely supported within my working environment. Not only do I feel that Thakeham will enable me to grow professionally, I know that working in such positive surroundings will bring about some great results.

“My role is challenging and always interesting. Currently, I am working on a range of projects at various stages of the planning process, including managing the planning for the Pease Pottage scheme. This scheme will deliver circa 620 dwellings, a primary school, care facility and neighbourhood centre. Exciting projects like this are only the beginning of what I know will be a fantastic journey with Thakeham. I feel lucky to be involved with such a supportive and inspiring company.”

Hannah’s Story

Meet Hannah, the first of our Thakeham stories for International Women’s Day! At the age of 21, Hannah is one of Thakeham’s youngest women and what an exciting start to her journey she has had! Battling a lack of self-confidence when she began at the company at only 17 years old, Hannah tells us how her role at Thakeham has built up her self-esteem and helped her establish a career that she is truly passionate about.

“After being brought up by a predominantly female family and attending an all-girls high school until the age of 16, Thakeham presented a very different environment to what I was used to. The company sat within a hugely male-dominated industry, which at first was daunting. Despite my initial concerns, at the age of 17, I applied for a Receptionist and, much to my amazement, got it! I was excited, but still unsure as to what career my future may hold.

“When I first started, I was cripplingly shy – almost too scared to answer the phone. As I settled into my role, it enabled me to demonstrate my skills and gradually I began to believe in myself, a belief that Thakeham had already shown they had in me. I had little office experience but the company had seen something in me that I’m not even sure I was aware existed. I grew in myself, both personally and professionally, and felt certain I’d found the right place for me. I started to really enjoy my new found confidence and the exciting opportunities it presented to me.

“After two years on Reception, the Managing Director asked what I saw in my future at Thakeham. Having already undertaken some administrative tasks for the Buying Department, I knew it was this team I wanted to be a part of. I began dividing my time between Reception and Buying until moving into Buying full time. Two years later and I absolutely love my job and the people I work with. I’m constantly learning and I’m so excited for what’s to come in my future here. Working at Thakeham has hugely enhanced my personal growth and I’ve felt thoroughly supported and encouraged to fulfil my potential from day one.”

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