Name: Jess Teasdale
Age: 29 years old
Job role: General Foreman at ENGIE’s Feversham Fields development
How long have you worked in the sector? And how did you get into it?
I kind of stumbled into the job. I’ve been with ENGIE since before the rebrand, so four years in total. I left education at 18 and I used to be a hairdresser. I’ve got three children so I used to work part time, I was even a part-time hotel manager for a little while. Then my partner put me forward to help out with some paperwork at ENGIE and I asked to be more involved. I began snagging plots and supervising people and really enjoyed it.
Was it a career you’ve always wanted to do/ been interested in?
Not at all! I’m a bit of a girly girl and like many I think I had the misconception that I wouldn’t be the right fit for the construction industry. You imagine yourself in so many careers as a child but this wasn’t one of them and I definitely never expected to love it!
What’s it like to work at ENGIE?
It’s fun and every day is new and interesting. The people are so helpful and lovely and I’ve learnt a lot from them. I’ve completed a part-time HMC degree with ENGIE, where I was on-site 4 days a week and in university one. My colleagues help was invaluable, they were more than willing to assist with my learning which made working alongside doing a degree all the more enjoyable. I’m given a lot of responsibility in my role, more than I expect you get at other companies and that’s what has ensured I’ve flourished in my role.
What opportunities have you had due to working at ENGIE?
Well my degree of course and plenty of training which has been essential to my progression. I’ve met loads of people from different walks of life in different roles which is extremely inspiring for me.
Have you seen the number of women in the sector grow since you started?
When I started four years ago I only knew two other women in the sector. I think it has grown, I’ve heard there is more female construction workers from the sub-contractors that visit various sites but there’s definitely room for others! I do think you have to try harder as a women to ensure you’re taken seriously, but it certainly helps you stand out. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend ENGIE as an employer to other females looking for a career in the industry, I’ve always felt equal here.
Future ambitions for yourself or women in the sector?
My career goal is to become a site manager and then a project manager. I hope more women will begin to consider a role in construction and will recognise the wide range of jobs they can do that they may not have felt comfortable pursuing careers in before.