Nottinghamshire Homebuilder's Finance Manager Proves A New Gender Dynamic In The Industry

Diya Manocha, Finance Manager for Barratt and David Wilson Homes North Midlands, reflects on entering a typically male-dominated industry as she encourages more women to do the same. 

Wanting to try something different in her career, she made the change from working in retail to starting a new job in the homebuilding industry.

Diya said she had expected the workforce to consist mainly of men but discovered that there were more women in the workplace than she had predicted.

She said:

“Before I joined, I had expected the industry to be heavily male-dominated, with mainly male employees both on site and in the office.

“I knew it would be completely different to the workplace where I had come from which was the complete opposite.

“When I started, I realised that there are more women working here than I had initially thought there would be.”

Diya believes that the construction industry is at a turning point regarding its workforce, with more women joining and companies making an effort to ensure that stereotypes are removed.

She said:

“I do think that the industry is currently at a stage where things are changing and that companies are doing more to change the perception of homebuilding being a male-only industry.

“We are now seeing more and more women joining and misconceptions of gender specific roles are slowly disappearing.”

Diya feels that many aspects of her job that she enjoys could be appreciated by other women, but they are potentially put off entering the homebuilding industry due to underrepresentation and misconceptions about what the job entails.

She added:

“From the outside, the construction industry is perceived to be heavily male dominated, and thought to be a difficult industry to work in. This may discourage some women from even considering applying for roles that come up.

“There is also the perception that working in construction means working on site. This is not true. Just like any other industry, there are countless roles and plenty of opportunities for women.”

Diya gives ‘Catalyst’, a future female leadership development programme, as just one example of the many ways that Barratt and David Wilson Homes have encouraged women to progress professionally within construction.

When asked for her advice to women who are considering joining the homebuilding industry, Diya said:

“You should definitely go for it if construction is something you are interested in, even if it is not an industry you have considered before. There are a variety of positions and many opportunities and you should just give your 100% in your role.”

Construction roles

Construction roles that are based on site can include Electrician, Plasterer, Engineer, Forklift Driver, Scaffolder, Bricklayer, Site Manager and Contracts Manager.

There are also a number of positions at head office, such as Architectural Technician, Surveyor, Land and Planning Manager, Estimator, Buyer and a number of roles in finance​.

Chris Southgate, Managing Director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes North Midlands, said:

“We’re very thankful to have Diya in our team as she’s a great advocate for women in construction.

“As a leading housebuilder, we strive to remove the barrier of stereotypes and ensure there are equal opportunities for both men and women to progress in the trade.”

Further information about the career opportunities can be found at www.barrattcareers.co.uk. To find out more information about Barratt and David Wilson Homes, visit the websites at www.barratthomes.co.uk and www.dwh.co.uk.


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