In honour of Women in Construction week, we are sharing the story of another one of our amazing women at Burdens! Suzannah is our Senior Category Manager for our utilities side (Power and Hire). Her efforts are instrumental to our success, discover her story.
Please can you tell us your job title and sum up the role in one sentence?
I’m the Senior Category Manager for Power and Hire. My role is to work with our key supply partners to ensure that we have a compelling product proposition that supports our customers’ needs.
Why or how did you get into the construction industry?
Having worked in retail buying for the majority of my career, I was keen to expand my skill set by moving into a new industry. An opportunity arose to join the Infrastructure team and team fit, alongside the opportunity for a new challenge, brought me into the construction industry.
Who inspires you? (Is there anyone in the construction industry?)
Neal Lambert is a fantastic example of someone in the construction industry who has a wealth of knowledge and is passionate about sharing as much of that as possible with those around him. When I first joined Infrastructure he was exceptionally supportive and spent the time answering my many, many questions.
What is your favourite part of your career?
I really enjoy building my understanding of product, whether that is seeing the product being manufactured on a factory visit, visiting our branches to see the product moving through our network or seeing product go into the ground on a site. Through getting close to the product, I can start to understand our customers’ needs, as well as the challenges that they may face, ultimately, this helps to enhance the development of our product proposition.
What is the biggest challenge of being a woman working in construction?
In all honesty, I haven’t experienced any challenges working in construction that have been due to gender. The only watch out is that you need to be prepared to wear an oversized high-vis on site visits and always bring your own safety shoes, as often most sites don’t cater for small feet in their selection of over-shoes!
What advice would you give to women looking to step into the industry?
Just to give it a try. Construction remains a male dominated industry overall, but there is absolutely a place and a need for increased diversity the industry. My experience has only been of meeting passionate people, with a wealth of knowledge, who are keen to share that knowledge with others who are passionate and willing to learn. Not only that, but it is very much a two way street, so my background and experience has meant that I have been able to bring new ideas and ways of working into the teams that I work with.
Why Are you proud to lead the way for women in construction?
Products related to infrastructure are fundamental to our everyday lives, whether that is the fibre cable that enables us to binge-watch the latest must-see series or the electric cables that bring power to our homes. It’s great to be involved in something that has such meaning, and because of the impact that the industry has, diversity in the industry leaders is even more critical.