‘I am a housebuilder’ initiative launched to mark International Womens Day 

A cross-party group of MPs and peers has launched a new campaign to increase the number of women working in the housebuilding industry.

I am a Housebuilder campaign MR (003)

The seven female housebuilding leaders leading the campaign, with Andrew Lewer MP (left) and Edwin da Silve (right)

The all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for SME housebuilders has today announced an initiative called ‘I am a housebuilder to co-incide with International Womens Day.

The campaign has been set up by the chair of the APPG Andrew Lewer, along with APPG secretariat and former Travis Perkins executive Edwin de Silva.

Its work will be led by seven female housebuilder founders and managing directors, see (box below)

The campaign will focus on three pledges. These are increasing the visibility of the sector to attract more women to apply for roles; creating a senior mentoring network to help women into leadership positions and working in partnership with trade bodies and organisations to positively promote the sector to women of all ages.

The campaign will continue through 2024 and culiminate in a networking event in parliament.


The female housebuilding leaders leading the campaign’s work

Sarah Barraclough, managing director, Skipton Properties

Rosey Cassidy, director, Newman Rose

Charlotte Edwards, managing director, Dennis Edwards Homes

Sophie Horgan, director, Horgan Homes

Georgina Hammond, co-founder and director, Beau Property

Alice Maughan, creative director and designer, Stronghold Homes

Xuan Meng, founder and director at Cosy Hauz

A spokesperson for the APPF said less than 2% of SME housebuilders or owned and led by women, while there are just 297,000 women working in construction across the UK compared to 1.8 million men. The APPF pointed to figures showing the number of SME housebuilders has declined from 11,000 in 2008 to 2,000 today.

Lewer said: “We need to reshape the public perception of the housebuilding industry. The antiquated view held by some is harming the future growth of the industry - preventing us from seeing diversity, causing a skills shortage and depriving the industry from accessing a pool of incredible talent.

“We want to put an end to this once and for all. It’s time for the industry and the legislature to work together to reverse the decline of SME housebuilders and encourage more women into the sector.”