International Women’s Day: Celebrating our team
March 8th marks International Women’s Day, a holiday celebrated annually as a focal point for the women’s rights movement. As well as celebrating the achievements of women, the day aims to educate and raise awareness for women's equality. As part of the celebrations, I sat down with some of the amazing women who make up the team at Russwood to get their take on being a female in architecture and construction.
Morgan Corrieri: Sales & Project Development Supervisor
What is your role and how did you come to work at Russwood?
My current role is Sales & Project Development Supervisor. I previously worked as an Administrator on a construction site and although Russwood were advertising for Cladding Sales roles at the time, I initially applied for a Receptionist position. I think this was because I had a lack of understanding about the Cladding Sales role and also lacked confidence to apply for a technical role. During my first interview I was encouraged to consider applying for the Cladding Sales role, which I did and was successful in my application. After about six months in that role, I was offered a promotion into the Sales & Project Development Team; who deal with larger, commercial-scale cladding and decking projects. My confidence had really grown by this point and I was delighted to accept the opportunity. I relocated to our Glasgow Office in 2021 and was promoted to Supervisor of the team that same year.
What advice would you have for women who want to get into the construction industry?
My advice would be to not underestimate yourself! Although the construction industry may seem intimidating and male-dominated, there are equal opportunities for all. Many companies within the construction sector, such as Russwood, are passionate about the growth and development of their people. The industry is continuously evolving with new roles being created which suit a wide variety of skills – something for everyone!
Amy Conboy: Marketing Executive
What is your role at Russwood and what does it involve?
I work as Marketing Executive within the marketing team at Russwood. The role varies every day but my main responsibilities include looking after our website, SEO, PPC campaigns, advertising schedule and design. No two days are ever the same, and a planned day never goes to ‘plan’, but that’s all part of the nature working in marketing.
Were you always interested in architecture and construction?
I have always had an interest in design, studying graphic design at university. I didn’t envisage my career path leading to working in the construction industry, but I knew Russwood had been part of some amazing architecture projects and were passionate about creating sustainable designs within the built environment. When the job in the marketing department at Russwood came up it felt like it would be an interesting opportunity to apply my knowledge of marketing to a completely new industry.
Kelsey Orr: Haulage & Logistics Coordinator
What does your job involve and what are the challenges?
My role is Haulage and Logistics Coordinator. My job involves organising all the deliveries for our own lorry and other hauliers and making sure everything runs smoothly. I plan the route for every lorry that comes in and out and I am responsible for ensuring the drivers are within their hours. I also speak to customers to arrange delivery, check if there are any access restrictions to the site and help with any questions they might have. Balancing the logistics with the needs of the customer can be a challenge, but I enjoy working it all out!
Have you received any training in your role?
Yes, I have had on-the-job training as well as working towards a Modern Apprenticeship in Business Administration. My first job at Russwood was as Receptionist and I would sometimes help with holiday cover for Haulage. When that role became available, I moved into it full time. I shadowed a colleague for a while and had on-the-job training and there was a lot of learning as I went! I am enjoying doing my Modern Apprenticeship. I have to write reports on how my job contributes to different aspects of the business such as communication and dealing with customers, and how my role fits in to the wider business. It helps me to reflect on what I am doing and what I can improve on.
Claire Howie: Sales & Marketing Director
How did you get to where you are now?
Prior to joining Russwood, I spent 15 years working in the database marketing industry, initially as an Account Manager, then laterlly as a Project Manager. I joined Russwood when I moved to the Highlands 10 years ago. I was looking to join a local company as I was commuting between home and Bristol. I spotted an article about Russwood in the local newspaper not long after I’d moved to the area. After meeting with John Russell to explore any opportunities with Russwood, I joined the company as Marketing Manager 8 years ago. Not long after that, I was asked to join the Senior Management Team then two years later I became a Director, taking on responsibility for managing the Cladding Sales team as well as Marketing. My role now includes managing the Architect Liaison Team – all 3 teams sit well together and throughout my time with Russwood, we have created an additional tier of Supervisors which has allowed me to progress and take on managing additional teams.
What are the biggest challenges working in this industry?
I’ve given this question a lot of thought and I’m not sure that I come across many challenges that I don’t feel I can overcome. I think my only challenge has been learning about a new industry and the technical aspect of the role which was all very new to me when I joined Russwood.
Charlotte Wark: Architectural Liaison Technician
Tell us about your role and what it involves.
My day-to-day consists of lots of conversations with Architect’s about detailing timber cladding, from developing initial specifications and writing NBS’s to providing detailing assistance on-site. Presenting External Cladding CPD’s is now a weekly occurrence and has allowed me to better engage with the practices we frequently work with. I’m also currently working on expanding Russwood’s Technical Drawing offering, having recently developed a package of bespoke profile drawings for a customer.
What’s your proudest work achievement to date?
Probably presenting CPD’s. When I first started taking on some CPD responsibility I felt quite far outside my comfort zone. It makes such a difference working with a supportive team and our CPD coordinator Roxana was a great help in settling those initial nerves. Presenting CPD’s to me now feels more rewarding and it’s always nice getting to know the people I’m speaking to, whether it be via phone or email, day-to-day.
Jenny Shepherd: Production Manager
What does your role involve and how did you get there?
I work with and lead Russwood’s Production Team, helping them to deliver a quality product for our customers. I was promoted from the position of Production Assistant. The opportunity arrived at just the right time and with my knowledge of the Production Department and previous experience in management, I decided to go for it. I recognised that it would be a challenging role, but felt that the time was right for me.
Would you like to see more women working in the production team?
Of course! I want to have a strong Production Team with the knowledge and skills to deliver good quality. This can come from anyone, regardless of gender. The production team is predominantly male at present, but we have two skilled female Production Assistants who support the team so it’s not all males and me! Russwood would love to welcome other genders into the Production team.
Thanks to Morgan, Amy, Kelsey, Claire, Charlotte and Jenny for contributing to this blog. You can find out more about International Women’s Day here.
Russwood are committed to promoting equal opportunities in employment. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. Available positions and details of how to apply speculatively can be found on our careers page.