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Forterra encourage more women into construction

Sharon Harris

Company’s first-ever female plant manager calls for more women to consider careers in manufacturing

FORTERRA’s first-ever female plant manager is encouraging more women to consider careers in manufacturing ahead of International Women’s Day (Friday 8 March).

Sharon Harris, plant manager at the company’s aircrete block production facility Hams Hall, in Coleshill, became the first ever female manager of a Forterra facility in July last year, after being promoted from her former role as head of HR.

Ms Harris (pictured) now oversees more than 100 employees and the production of more than 8,000 cubic metres of Thermalite aircrete blocks each day, and more than 327,000 cubic metres annually.

‘It’s great to be operating in a leadership role with Forterra,’ she said. ‘I would strongly encourage other women to consider embarking on a career in this industry – as my position demonstrates, there are no limits to what women can achieve in business. From my experience, everyone’s contributions are welcome in this sector regardless of gender, nationality, age or background.’

Whilst construction manufacturing industries have long been stereotypically viewed as heavily male-dominated, Forterra say they are committed to encouraging more women to turn to the construction industry and to learn more about its many career pathways and opportunities.

On 4 March, the company launched Bricklaying Forterra Females (BFF), the UK’s first all-female bricklaying competition, with the aim of raising the profile of women in the construction sector.

Forterra’s chief executive, Stephen Harrison, said: ‘Manufacturing is traditionally seen as male-dominated, but we anticipate that increasing numbers of women will join the sector. We hope Sharon’s experience inspires others to explore the opportunities this industry has to offer.’

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