International Women’s Day on 8th March encourages everyone to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality, celebrate women’s achievements and help create an inclusive world. Rachael Humphreys, the new land director for Vistry Group’s Western region, is emphasising the need for this to continue.
Previously head of land at Vistry, which includes Bovis Homes and Linden Homes, Rachael has worked in the housebuilding industry for 18 years. Her directorship sees her responsible for identifying development opportunities and acquiring land in South Gloucestershire, Bristol, Somerset and Wiltshire.
Commenting on International Women’s Day, Rachael said: “Housebuilding was always a male-dominated industry and there were many occasions when I was the only woman in a meeting. However, things have changed and they’re continuing to change. There’s a real desire to ensure the workforce is balanced, with more women now working in each department and the region employing three female directors.”
Rachael has a degree in planning and worked in strategic land as a planning manager, before moving into immediate land. Interested in architecture and interior design, Rachael said: “I had my son and then I returned to the renewable energy sector as a planning manager, working part-time. I joined the company in 2016 as a land manager, continuing on a part-time basis, and was delighted to be made head of land and planning within that first year.
“I feel very proud to have been promoted and flexible working has been invaluable, enabling me to continue my job while raising a family. It’s wonderful that the world has woken up and women don’t have to make that choice between work and home, they can opt for both. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to achieve that coveted work/life balance – it can be a constant juggling act but to know you can do it and you’re fully supported is so refreshing. I couldn’t have become a land director without flexible working and it’s important to recognise that and notice more women are being promoted to director roles, it’s great to see.”
Managing director, Dave Farley added: “Rachael is a great asset to the region and her wealth of experience helps us to identify land in our chosen locations and deliver successful, well-designed developments for local communities.
“International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to address the balance in the workplace and I’m very pleased to see Rachael celebrated, it’s a much-deserved promotion. It’s so important that companies recognise the value of individuals and understand that work can be done flexibly. The last year has shown us how much can be achieved by working from home. Technology has helped enormously and facilitates us to work remotely, so the old-fashioned view of working in the office 9am-5pm from Monday to Friday has been turned on its head and it’s liberating for everyone. Being able to see people work and blossom in their chosen careers is brilliant and as a managing director attracting the best people for the job has to be your priority.”
Originally from Devon, Rachael enjoys playing golf and lives in Bristol with her husband, Gareth and son, Josh.
The theme for International Women’s Day in 2021 is #ChooseTo Challenge. For further information visit www.internationalwomensday.com.
Contact: Emma Mackay, Bovis Homes and Linden Homes, 077383 12960, email@example.com
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