Latest News | 23 March 2022

Inspiring more women to build a career in construction

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A female employee at Hodgkinson Builders is hoping to inspire more women to consider a career in the construction industry.

At the age of just 21, Jilly Rapley has already put down firm foundations for a lengthy career in the sector, working as a technical co-ordinator at Hodgkinson.

Earlier this month, International Women’s Day took place – and Women in Construction Week.

On the back of this, Jilly, who was born in Vietnam and now lives in Chellaston, is encouraging more women to consider construction as a career.

She took the plunge into the sector after trying out apprenticeships in mortgage brokering administration and sales administration.

She said: “What I love about my job is the people I work with, and the feeling of getting something accomplished.

“There’s always something new to learn every day in house-building and commercial-building.”

According to the GMB union, women account for just 12.5% of the workforce in the construction sector.

In her role, Jilly deals with everything from hiring on-site equipment and materials to covering for buyer Martha Birkett when she is away.

She also works with Hodgkinson’s business development manager, Matthew Finnie, in dealing with land and talking to clients.

Jilly started with the firm in September 2019 and has recently been enrolled by Hodgkinson in a BA Hons construction management degree, attending the University of Derby a day-and-a-half each week alongside her paid work.

She said: “When I first applied for the job, I didn’t know anything about construction. In school you only heard of bricklayers and that was it.

“I did just think it would all be men, but after starting with Hodgkinsons I found there are women who do work in the construction industry, which was great to see.

“There are so many different roles in construction that are available to everyone, regardless of your gender.

“I would encourage women to be in construction. I think it’s a really good industry to be in.”

Ian Hodgkinson, managing director of Hodgkinson Builders, said: “The construction industry is a great place to be, and there are countless opportunities to carve a prosperous career.

“Whether those careers are for males or females is irrelevant, as long as they have the right skills.

“Jilly is growing from strength to strength in her role and we look forward to her skills developing further.”

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