Galliard Homes Limited

International Women's Day 2024: Meet Our Remarkable Women


As we mark International Women's Day and celebrate the remarkable women at Galliard Homes, we caught up with a few Galliard women to discuss the achievements and challenges faced throughout their career, what inspires them and the barriers they have faced.

Meet Rachel S

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career journey.

I’ve worked in property/accounts for most of my career.  When I became a single parent in my thirties I used that time to home-study ACCA, qualified, joined Galliard, and 16 years later I’m still here.

Which women inspire you most?

Katie Piper – for her work raising awareness for victims of burns & disfigurements, for refusing to hide away from a judgemental world, and for redefining beauty. But also, all of us who are juggling work, families, home, and just quietly getting it all done, and those who realise they are struggling to do it all and are brave enough to ask for help.

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman?

I introduced myself to someone at a networking event once and explained my role as head of Finance in Galliard Residential (a few years back now), and he looked me up and down and said “that’s a big job, how did you get that?”. I wish I could report that I had a snappy come back, but I was too surprised to say anything. Fortunately, those incidents are few and far between. 

How do you influence your colleagues around you and the wider business?

I hope I lead by example, that’s what I try to do.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is Inspire Inclusivity, what does this mean to you?

Everyone gets a fair chance. In terms of your career, that means that if you have the right attitude and aptitude, you should get the opportunity to progress if that’s what you want. But it’s also about people being comfortable in their own skins, and not having to keep a part of themselves hidden unless they choose to. Race, religion and sexuality are the obvious things that hopefully everyone is already inclusive of, but – especially on Women’s Day – I’m thinking of those who may not fit into a simple M or F gender, or who may have hidden disabilities that bring extra challenges, and where there can still be stigma. I respect everyone’s right to keep those things private, whilst hoping one day society will have moved on to the point where no one feels the need to. 

Meet Sukie

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career journey

I’m a working mum of two young boys five and two years old. I’ve been at Galliard for almost seven years starting as a Design Coordinator and now as the Technical Manager within the façade remediation team. After studying Architecture at Oxford Brookes University, I started my career on the consultancy side after nine years in Architectural practice. I took a career break from construction and worked as a team leader for a leading Architectural recruitment agency managing a team of five for three years before deciding to return to construction and wanting to focus mainly on delivering buildings rather than design. 

Which women inspire you the most?

I don’t particularly have a single woman that inspires me, over the years I have encountered some amazing strong-willed women privately and professionally. Notably while at University I forged a friendship with two female friends, we studied Architecture together. In a very male-dominated environment their tremendous support and backing has helped me achieve my goals. As the years have gone on, I have been honoured and inspired to see them grow within their respective careers while managing family life. 

What do you think is the biggest issue women in Construction and the Property industry are facing today?

Work/life balance, managing the fine line between family life and work, and the gender pay gap.

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman?

Earlier on in my career, I noticed the pay gap got notably bigger between myself and my male peers. This seemed to be a norm within Architecture practices and became one of the factors why I left the consultancy side.  

Meet Rachel B

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career journey

I left school at 18 with A-levels but was unsure of the career path I wished to take. I started an admin role for a flooring subcontractor to fund my ‘gap year’, and the rest is history. I worked in various departments within the business until I found the Commercial Department which I enjoyed and excelled in. In the same year I enrolled in a six-year part-time degree course at Oxford Brookes University which I graduated from in 2022 with a First Class. One year into the degree course I moved from subcontracting to working for Galliard Homes, where I am still, seven years later! 

Which women inspire you the most?

My mum and sister; both women are integral to the person I am today and continue to inspire me to become a better version of myself.

What do you think is the biggest issue women in construction and the property industry are facing today? 

I think there are many occupations where the challenges women face are different to men, albeit in more recent years employers are striving to address these issues. I think the biggest issue facing women in construction is the blanket, one-size fits all approach to the workforce which has existed for many years. There is a clear differential in working environment between an Office Role, On-Site Office role and an On-Site Trade role which is reflected by diversity data within the industry and numbers of women working in each. If there was better flexibility and inclusion within each of these environments I believe the industry would have better success at attracting and retaining women within the workforce. 

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is Inspire Inclusivity, what does this mean to you?

Over time and with experience I have become more confident to be myself in the workplace. This has become easier due to the increased visibility of women in the industry as well as an improved awareness and acceptance of men of the changing nature of the workforce. To inspire inclusivity more generally, I make an effort to try to understand my colleagues and their viewpoints, encourage those around me and try to create environments where people feel like they can be themselves.   

Edited: 8th March 2024