Often stereotyped as an all-male industry, getting ahead in the construction industry was something Charlotte Goode, Regional Managing Director @KeepmoatHomes aspired to achieve.
Having started her career in accounting, she soon realised the building industry opened many doors for her and since joining Keepmoat Homes in 2016, she was able to achieve her goal of Managing Director within two years.
Here she shares how her passion for numbers was the perfect foundation for a fulfilling career within the construction sector.
Charlotte commented: “I must admit, a career in construction was not the most obvious choice when I initially started my career. Having qualified as an accountant with Deloitte, I was first introduced into the construction industry during my 10 years with SIG plc, a specialist distributor of building materials. Whilst maintaining the position of Head of Due Diligence, I was transferred into the Corporate Development department to lead a team of financial and commercial specialists and oversee a number of acquisition projects. It was through heading up the integration of an offsite manufacturer recently acquired that I realised I wanted to pursue a career in construction.
With the construction industry slowly becoming more diverse over the years, in particular in managerial roles, Charlotte added: “I joined Keepmoat Homes as a Finance Director with a personal aim of becoming Regional Managing Director within five years. After a lot of hard work, late nights and dedication, I was offered the role within two years. As Regional Managing Director for the West Midlands I find every day brings such a variety of work and challenges – whether it be driving land acquisitions, building relationships with our partners, managing operational issues out on site, developing the team or liaising with customers. For me, being operationally minded, continually changing and adapting to new challenges and developing a great team around myself, has helped progress my career quickly – being good with numbers is of course an added bonus.”
During Charlotte’s time with Keepmoat Homes, she has established the West Midlands region and grown the area including from last September, managing the South West geography. The region currently has 9 sites in development across the West Midlands and South West, with a further 7 sites due to commence development within the next few months.
With an aim to open more doors to women at Keepmoat Homes, Charlotte added: “There is no doubt we need to encourage more women to select and remain in construction careers.
“Many doors are already open to women, there are so many different areas that all contribute towards the project from conception to delivery including site management, quantity surveying and marketing, and all these roles play a key part. If you’re starting out, an apprenticeship is a great option as it enables you to gain first-hand experience, whilst also an insight into other areas of the business.
“My advice to young women who are interested in the industry would be that you have to be flexible in your role and take up opportunities as and when they arrive, even if it’s not exactly the path you originally planned to take.
“With the industry starting to bring in flexible / agile working, I feel this is key for attracting more women into the industry – from working from home to job sharing, there’s now a variety of ways we’ve been able to incorporate flexible working into our region at Keepmoat Homes to attract and retain female talent. As a mother to two young girls, who both swim competitively, the flexibility at Keepmoat Homes has allowed me to support my girls driving them to galas and meets, and more recently becoming a committee member at their swimming club.
“It’s about finding the perfect balance and I’m an advocate that if you put your mind to it, along with the added work, you can achieve anything.”
Andy Mason, Divisional Chairman at Keepmoat Homes, said:
“We have achieved great things in the West Midlands over the last four years. It’s great that Charlotte, who has helped set up the region and has excelled in her previous roles, is being recognised for her achievements.
“At Keepmoat Homes, our vision goes far beyond bricks and mortar and we aim to be at the forefront of the industry and transform lives, not only with new neighbourhoods and supporting the local community which we serve, but for our employees as well. Charlotte is an inspiration to other women, and it clearly demonstrates the important role women play in the construction sector. I hope this inspires future generations to consider this industry for their careers.”