Empowering Women in Housebuilding: Sarah’s Evolving Journey with the ‘I am a Housebuilder’ Campaign

Hello everyone

I’m thrilled to share with you an exciting initiative that I’ve been involved in – the ‘I am a Housebuilder’ campaign. As the Managing Director of Skipton Properties, a family-owned business known for its commitment to excellence, I’ve joined forces with other industry leaders as part of the esteemed ‘Magnificent Seven Housebuilders’ to drive positive change in the housebuilding sector.

The ‘I am a Housebuilder’ campaign, initiated by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for SME Housebuilders, aims to address the longstanding gender disparities and image challenges prevalent in our industry. It’s no secret that women are significantly underrepresented in housebuilding, with less than 2% of SME housebuilding companies being owned and led by women. Additionally, the workforce gender gap is stark, with only 297,000 women compared to 1.8 million men in construction roles across the UK. These statistics highlight the urgent need for change.

I firmly believe that the housebuilding industry has immense potential for growth and innovation, but it’s hampered by outdated perceptions and a significant gender imbalance. Through the ‘I am a Housebuilder’ campaign, we’re committed to breaking down these barriers and inspiring more women to enter and lead in this field.

The initiative is being driven by the APPG’s new secretariat, Edwin de Silva, an industry veteran and Co-Chair for the Regional Builders Hub Steering Group in support of The King’s Foundation and Chair of the APPG, Andrew Lewer MBE, Member of Parliament Northampton South. The campaign’s pledges include increasing the visibility of successful women within the sector, establishing a senior mentoring network, and collaborating with trade bodies to promote the industry to women of all ages.

As part of the ‘Magnificent Seven Housebuilders,’ my peers and I are dedicated to mentoring and supporting more women to become SME housebuilders. This mentorship aspect is crucial, as it aims to guide aspiring female leaders through the intricacies of the industry and provide them with the tools and confidence needed to succeed.

What are we doing at Skipton Properties to support the campaign and bring more women into roles in construction?

Well, we’re currently developing a more robust apprenticeship programme to ensure our apprentices thrive; considering the shortage of women in our industry apprenticeships will be key in reshaping it. Additionally, we’re elevating several of our female managers and other personnel into key roles in the business to develop their potential to lead. I’ll be taking a key role in this, alongside my sister, Caroline and our Financial Director, Luke.

Finally, over the next few months, we’ll be shining a light on the diverse range of women in our business in the hope you may find out a little bit more about what they do each day, how that shapes our business, hopefully raising awareness and interest in these roles.

Warm regards,


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