“Be true to yourself”; the advice that Jackie Chalmers would give herself now if she was starting out on her career path again. With a finance career spanning two decades in two of the most recognised traditionally male dominated sectors, financial services and property, Jackie found that being true to her qualifications, values and ability has ensured she has been able to make an impact and climb the career ladder.
Jackie, 43, joined the board at Linden Homes South West as Finance Director in September 2017 and aspires to become a regional managing director as part of her career path in the near future.
She said: “Throughout my career it has been important for me to truly understand the business I work for. Working in finance means that theoretically I could work in any sector, however, I thoroughly enjoy the tangibility of the housebuilding industry. Most people understand the basics involved in the construction of a home and indeed a new community and for me being part of a business that brings this to life is a real pleasure.”
Jackie, who previously worked for another national housebuilder, hasn’t always worked in the industry, she also worked for 10 years in a financial services company. She said: “Working for Linden Homes is different to my former jobs, I was enticed by the opportunity to work for FTSE250 company Galliford Try. I play an active role across all disciplines in the business getting the opportunity to use my leadership and project management skills developed through my MBA to influence all disciplines as well as my own.”
“Being a woman in the housebuilding industry is very different now to my time in the sector over a decade ago. The volume of women in trades on site is increasing, the attitudes towards women are shifting, and most of all the number of women taking seats at board tables is increasing.”
Getting out on site monthly is important to Jackie and she encourages her team to do the same, she said: “It is important to understand the context and challenges faced by our on-site teams, being able to add value and suggest alternative methods is key to being part of a successful Linden Homes region.”
Bringing her expertise and knowledge from other sectors has helped during board meetings; “A different perspective can offer a new solution” she added. Whilst recognising there is a lot to learn about the business, Jackie is dedicated to continuing to develop her career within the sector and is spending time investing in her future.
Jackie said: “Working closely with Bradley Davison, MD, is important for me. I learn so much from him about the technical and commercial aspects of the business, he is also very supportive of my role on the board. He plays a strong mentor role for me and is someone that I appreciate I can learn a lot from over the next few years.”
Bradley Davison said: “Jackie has made a huge impact to the team since joining almost a year ago, her knowledge and skills have added value across all areas of the division. I am delighted with her commitment to personal development and will ensure that she has access to all that she needs to continue her sector career here at Linden Homes.”
Linden Homes is fully committed to encouraging more female talent into the business and is in its third year of sponsoring the Women in Property Awards which help to drive a step change in the opportunities available to women in the sector.
For more details on Linden Homes and the careers currently available visit the website.
Media can contact Tom Gosschalk on 02036 977 647 / email@example.com for more information, images and interviews with Linden Homes.
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