02 March 2021
Midas Group celebrates value through diversity
on International Women’s Day
This International Women’s Day (IWD) we’re reflecting on the value through diversity that women bring to Team Midas and the integral role they play in the success of Midas Group.
While the traditional perception of construction is one of a male-dominated sector, at Midas there are women thriving in a range of roles. Areas such as Business Support, Community and Social Value and Building Information Modelling (BIM) are all headed up by women and there is a steady stream of talent and future leaders coming through the trade, site operations and management streams.
Framework Manager Dr Sarah James (pictured) is responsible for all construction frameworks, representing a significant and growing proportion of the company’s work with more than 80% of the Group’s projects carried out on a repeat business basis. She ensures Midas delivers a consistent and quality service for all its customers, central our strategy to be the contractor of choice in the areas in which we operates.
Having begun her career in the Royal Air Force before moving into police forensics, Sarah reflects on the fact that she has always worked in industries that are traditionally considered to be male dominated.
She said: “Careers in science and maths weren’t so popular for girls when I was at school, but I have seen a real change, with women becoming more and more interested and enthusiastic about roles in these sectors. I frequently participate in careers events and we work hard to encourage young girls to understand all of the wonderful careers and opportunities available to them in construction.
“I have had some fabulous mentors in my career, both men and women, and I have learned that it is so important to listen and learn from experienced colleagues. Being professional and working hard can go a long way towards challenging people’s perceptions. I have always let my ability do the talking.”
Midas is committed to creating an environment where all its people can maximise their potential; and we are always looking to encourage more women into the industry and support them into long-term careers and senior roles within the company.
Quantity Surveyor Alice Rumbelow has recently been promoted to her current role and has been working at Midas for almost five years. She joined as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor, as part of work experience for her university degree, and has been with the company ever since. Alice is a fourth generation Quantity Surveyor, but the first woman in her family to become one.
She said: “If you are genuinely interested in construction, whether you are a man or a women, you should give it a go.
“Women can offer a different perspective, and the more perspectives you have on a project the better. From my experience, I have seen the same level of respect for both men and women in the industry. It is an equal playing field and everyone is given the same opportunities. If you put in the time and effort, you will see the reward.”
Fellow Quantity Surveyor Marie Tremlett recently celebrated 25 years at Midas. During this time, she has developed her skills and knowledge, progressing from an admin role to her current position. While studying, Marie was named Construction Student of the year.
She said: “Midas has been hugely supportive, encouraging me to believe that I could do something different.
“Over the past decade I’ve noticed people’s perceptions of women in the industry change markedly and it’s now not unusual to see women working across many different disciplines on site.
“While the seeds have been sown, the message still needs to be pushed to young women that construction could be a career suitable for them and that there is a wealth of roles and opportunity for them in the sector.”
Midas is equally committed to a diverse mix of apprentices and has long since recognised the important role they play in the success of the Group and the future of the industry.
Becca Chapman is a Construction Technician Apprentice who, through Shared Apprentices South West, has been working in our specialist residential business Mi-space since November 2019.
Becca said: “I enjoy seeing something that’s run down, or an empty space, and transforming it into a building that’s going to last for 100 years or more.
“I never thought of construction as an industry I would like to work in, and I didn’t hear much about it as a potential career at school, but we are starting to see more women coming through. For me it is about stepping up to every challenge on site and having confidence in what you are doing.”
Tessa Purdy-Johns is a Business Development Coordinator who has worked for Midas Construction for ten years and is a committee member of South West Women in Construction (SWWIC).
She said: “For me, the challenge starts right at the beginning, with making sure children are offered all types of toys to play with; that boys are offered a doll, and girls are offered building blocks. As children grow it’s about planting a seed in their minds to see past perceptions of gender bias and keeping that a part of the conversation.
“Women at Midas and members of groups like SWWIC all contribute to this challenge simply by making themselves visible doing the job that they do, talking to young people in their lives or at a school event or by having their photo in the media that a young girl may come across. If girls can see others doing it, they will hopefully be inspired to follow their lead.”
Midas Group is committed to offering everyone the opportunity to forge lasting and rewarding careers in the industry. Our dedication to diversity and inclusivity is deeply embedded in our policies and practices; and true life success stories reaffirm that we are making a real difference, but there is more still to do to encourage women into the industry.
Midas Group Chief Executive, Alan Hope, said: “International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate not only our diversity and inclusivity, but also the ability for everyone to maximise their potential at Midas.
“It is also an appropriate time to confirm our commitment to Choose to Challenge perceptions, stereotypes and social and economic obstacles on individual, company and industry levels. Essential to our success and the delivery of our Vision to be leaders in customer service and performance is continuing to engage with and inspire talented people of any background or demographic to consider entering a career in construction.”