Women in Property Case study
Women are expected to make up more than a quarter of the construction workforce by 2020, up from its current level of approximately 14% . A testament to the growing number of women joining the housebuilding industry is Linden Homes’ Land Manager, Lauren Potter, 27, who is proof that talent and skills are the driving factors behind a successful career in the industry.
After studying Architecture for four years at the University of Edinburgh where she graduated with a 2.1 Masters degree. She then moved to Holland where she worked as an Architectural Designer for Rem Koolhaas’s practice named OMA.
“I enjoyed working in architecture however I soon came to realise that the control of projects ultimately sits with the developer rather than the architect. With architecture being fairly subjective and having experienced housebuilders being the client and making all-important decisions in relation to new developments, I wanted to be part of that. I trained in the sector then saw the opportunity with an expanding and successful housebuilder in Linden Homes where I could progress and develop.”
Now enjoying a role within the land department, Lauren comments: “I love working in the land department at Linden Homes; every day is different and fast paced, and I’m really benefiting from learning from other departments such as commercial, technical and sales, which surround me daily and are all striving towards the same goal as one team.”
“The target for me in my job is to acquire land, obtain planning permissions and complete Housing Association deals whilst ensuring these outcomes are in line with the Linden Chiltern business model. Going through these motions is like being on a rollercoaster however when you finally get the result over the line there is a true sense of achievement – it’s the best part about my job!”
When asked about working in a traditionally male-centric industry, Lauren said: “The land teams across Linden Homes are fairly evenly balanced between men and women which really shows how the trend is being bucked in our business. My manager is a great mentor and encourages me to strive to achieve my ambitions.”
Tom Nicholson, Linden Homes’ Divisional Chairman, commented: “There is a vast amount of career opportunities in the housebuilding industry and we are pleased to take pride in ensuring we employ the right person and skillsets for the job. Linden Homes also offers a fantastic Management Trainee Scheme for those starting out in the industry which encourages all people from all walks of life to join the programme and carve a career out for themselves within the sector. If efforts like this are made as standard throughout the industry, then I’m sure any splits will eventually be less unbalanced.
"Our ongoing support of the National Women in Property Student Awards which aims to encourage young women as they take their first step towards a career in the sector, is testament to the pride we take in encouraging young talent, like Lauren, into the field and we hope to see further females join our thriving workforce."
Speaking about her future in the industry, Lauren said: “I’ve now been with Linden Homes for almost a year therefore as a relatively new Land Manager my primary focus is on being successful in this role. My long-term career aspirations are to become a Senior Land Manager and eventually, work my way up to become a Land Director. By gaining results for the business, working hard, being resilient and a team player, and through utilising the development opportunities which both Linden Homes and my land mentors provide I’m confident that these goals are achievable.”
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