How a Sunderland house builder is raising the profile of women in construction

The profile of women in the construction industry on Wearside has been raised further with two new appointments at a major house builder.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 5:41 pm
Updated Friday, 5th March 2021, 5:46 pm

Gentoo Homes, which is based in Sunderland, has appointed Melissa Watson as their contracts manager ahead of Women In Construction Week.

This runs between March 7 to 14 and aims to highlight women’s growing roles and prominence in the construction industry.

Melissa is returning to the organisation where she first trained to become a site manager, re-joining from national house builder Bellway. She will oversee the construction programmes for a number of developments across the North East.

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Gentoo employees from right Katherine Hope head of sales and marketing, contracts manager Melissa Watson, site manager Lynne Hicks and operations director Anthony Douglas.

This includes sites in her home town of Sunderland, which she is very proud of.

Another woman in a new role at the organisation is Katherine Hope, who has been given the role of head of sales and marketing.

Katherine will have overall responsibility for a 200-home annual sales programme. She joins from Story Homes and has more than ten years’ experience in the house building industry.

Melissa said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed as contracts manager. It means a lot to me to return to my home town and to the organisation that gave me my first opportunity in the construction industry.

“I’ve learnt a lot during my time at Bellway and I’m grateful to be given another opportunity to further develop my career in the industry.”

Katherine said: “It’s a really exciting time to join Gentoo Homes and I’m excited to support the delivery of some really fantastic new developments, both in Sunderland and across the North East region.

Anthony Douglas, Gentoo Homes’ operations director, said: “Women account for just 10% of the construction industry workforce and it’s really important that we give talented people, regardless of their gender, equal opportunities to develop.

“Katherine and Melissa bring new skills and experience to our management team and have already made a great impression since starting work with us.”

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