Sister are doing it for themselves at one West construction firm.

The team at Barratt David Wilson Homes South West is celebrating Women in Construction Week (6 – 12 March) & International Women’s Day 2022: Tuesday 8 March

One of its most successful site teams - a female duo overseeing the construction of new build homes at Morton Meadows – and champion the sales team behind the development in Thornbury are right at the centre of celebrations.

Jennifer Louis (35), Site Manager at the Gloucester Road development, had long aspired to work in construction and got into the industry in 2016 via Barratt Developments Degree Apprenticeship programme. This meant she could combine her studies for a degree alongside a job as a Trainee Assistant Site Manager.

Jennifer, who’s in charge of the build of three, four and five bedroom homes at the site, said: “My job gives me a huge buzz and I’d love to see more women in construction. There are so many opportunities and I feel very supported in my role. Without generalising, all the women I’ve worked with have been hardworking, driven and able to bring a different perspective to a situation.

“I’d love my work to be recognised with a NHBC Pride in the Job award, which is presented to the most exceptional site managers, and in time, I’d like to progress to a Project Manager role. I’m determined to get there.”

Meanwhile, Sydney Atifeh (25) was part of Barratt Developments’ Undergraduate Placement programme while she was studying for a university degree. After completing a years’ industry work experience, she assisted the housebuilders’ marketing team in Exeter. After she graduated, she joined Barratt Developments ASPIRE graduate programme and spent time working in rotation around various departments. She quickly realised construction was where her heart lay and where she’d like to spend her second full year of the programme.

Sydney, who lives in Chippenham, said: “I grew up wanting to be a wedding and event planner, I just don’t think a career in construction was on my radar however, I can see now there are definite similarities, regardless of how different they may first appear! You have to work with a lot of stakeholders, trades, other departments in the business and customers, there are strict timescales to work to and you’re responsible for a project from start to end.”

Fast forward four years and Sydney is now Assistant Site Manager, also at Morton Meadows. She continues: “I’d definitely like to see more women on-site and I don’t think it’ll be long until we get there. The more diverse the workforce, the more we can understand the different perspectives of trades, subcontractors and customers. David Wilson South West positively encouraged my move from sales and marketing to construction. I’m looking forward to progressing with the company and I have my sights firmly set on a Site Manager role in the not too distant future.”

Sales Manager, Verity Abraham, joined Barratt Developments five years ago as Marketing Executive. Although she was new to the industry, she’d had a keen interest in housebuilding and she fully immersed herself in her new role. After 18 months, an opportunity to progress to Marketing Manager at Barratt David Wilson Homes South West became available and she jumped at the chance. She said: “The role meant I was able to work with lots of different departments within Barratt David Wilson, from supporting the construction team in the delivery of showhomes to the organisation of charity events. After working with the marketing team for close on four years, I discussed that I was keen to progress to Sales Manager – a position I’ve been in for three months now.”

Verity added: “I feel a woman can bring so much to the industry and having a diverse workforce is always beneficial. I’ve been extremely lucky as the Barratt David Wilson team have supported my career aspirations. I was fortunate to earn a place on the Group’s ‘Rising Stars’ programme which has provided me with training and development alongside my peers. I also took part in the Catalyst Programme that has been specifically designed to support women in the industry who want to climb the career ladder and hone their leadership skills. This has been monumental in my development.”

Louise Ware, Sales Director at Barratt David Wilson Homes oversees the entire sales operation for the South West division. She joined Barratt Developments 30 years ago as a receptionist and says she didn’t really know much about the industry at the time however, her mum was a Sales Manager and she needed a job after travelling. After just a few months, she was appointed as a Sales Progressor, working with agents, solicitors and IFAs to get contracts from reservation to exchange, a role she did for three years before she progressed to Part Exchange Manager. Promotions to Sales Manager and Senior Sales Manager quickly followed before she took a break to have children and when she rejoined the business, it was as Sales Director.

Louise said “Being a director gives me the opportunity to develop people which is what I enjoy most as I strongly believe in organic growth. We’ve made a lot of progress and now have many more women working with us, but we need to broaden our scope and see more women out on site, rather than just in office-based roles. Barratt Developments offers a wide range of training, courses and mentoring and we have a highly supportive network who challenge you to progress and fulfil your potential. A positive and enthusiastic attitude is always recognised and encouraged.

“It’s fiction that women can’t do what men do – we’re all proof of that!”

Morton Meadows is a new development of three, four and five bedroom homes. Properties are surrounded by eight acres of open space with streamside walks close by. Thornbury town centre is around a 20 minute walk away which boasts a wide range of independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Residents at Morton Meadows will also be close to Ofsted rated 'Good' schools.

For commuters, junction 15 of the M5 is just a ten minute drive away, alternatively the A38 is under two miles away allowing easy access to major towns and cities. For further information visit

Barratt Developments Higher and Degree Apprenticeships in Construction provide the experience, training and support needed to become a future Site Manager. You’ll join as a Trainee Assistant Site Manager and start your journey in construction from day one alongside your academic studies. The apprenticeships award two industry-recognised qualifications: Cert HE Professional Practice in Residential Development and Construction for completion of the Higher Apprenticeship, and BSc (Hons) Professional Practice in Residential Development and Construction for completion of the Degree Apprenticeship.

Barratt Developments two-year ASPIRE Programme is open to people of all degree backgrounds. Graduates can rotate around every area of the business in the first year to give them the chance to show what they can do and where their talents fit best. Graduates will have access to a personal coach and dedicated mentoring from a Managing Director or Operations Director. There’s also plenty of support to study for professional qualifications awarded by industry bodies such as RICS, RTPI, CIOB, CIMA and ACA.