Jackie Priestley, assistant site manager at Harron Homes’ Highfield Manor development in Fixby, Yorkshire – which won Harron development of the year 2022, can attest to the progress made in the construction industry mindset over the past few decades.
Jackie got her start in the industry as an apprentice plasterer over 20 years ago, and after 10 years of plastering, and a stint teaching she moved into site management and joined Harron in 2021.
“College was the toughest time for me. I was the only girl on my course and definitely got treated differently for that.
“Things have fortunately changed over the years and people are much more accepting than they used to be.
“Out of all the companies I’ve worked at, Harron is definitely the most progressive which I think is mostly down to the fantastic higher management team. I’m a keen yoga teacher, and when I’ve talked to the office team and the guys on site about doing a session for the mental health benefits they’ve all been receptive which I think just shows how open-minded Harron’s environment is.
“I have seen a lot of bias in the industry, people used to assume all sorts about me including my sexuality, but there isn’t that pressure to be ‘one of the lads’ at Harron. I’m a very feminine person, and I haven’t
felt less respected because of that.
“I think the biggest way to combat the inequalities is by simply normalizing women’s presence. A lot of it comes down to a change in mindset; most of the sexist comments I get are from the older generation, while my son wouldn’t think twice about seeing a woman on site.
“There’s still a way to go – I’m the only woman working on my site, besides the sales team – but I’ve never felt so supported and encouraged in such a positive environment.”
Harron Homes is always on the lookout for talented people to join their team and help grow the thriving business.