Persimmon Homes

Lancashire saleswomen switch careers in construction

01 December 2021

Two of Persimmon’s Lancashire saleswomen have swapped jobs for a life out on site.

Chantelle Fort and Lynn Johnson have both chosen to switch careers from sales advisors to become trainee assistant site managers.

The pair have embarked on Persimmon’s intensive in-house training programmes to acquire the knowledge and skills to ultimately manage their own new build housing developments.

John Roocroft, managing director of Lancashire, said: “As a company we are very keen to encourage more women to build long-term careers in the industry and I’m sure Lynn and Chantelle will demonstrate to others what terrific opportunities are available in construction.”

Lynn, 53, has been with Persimmon for more than 30 years and was keen to prove to herself and her son that age is no barrier to trying something new.

“I am so excited to start my new career and bring pride to my job, for me and my son,” she said. “I only became a mother at 41 after seven years of IVF, so I took a step back from my career when he was born, to spend quality time with him, but now he is in high school I am champing at the bit to take on a new challenge.

“It is a little daunting, but I love working with people and I’m hoping that my previous experience as a field sales manager will help me in this role too.

“I’m currently doing lots of in-house training to fully understand the construction process, ready for getting out on site. I can’t wait to swap my lippy and high heels for a hard hat and safety boots!

“I am really grateful for the opportunity and look forward to another 15 productive years with Persimmon.”

Lynn will be based at the Douglas Gardens development in Hesketh Bank, while 27-year-old Chantelle Fort has already settled in at the Spring Meadows site in Darwen.

“We have just handed over the keys to the first customer to complete their purchase at this development, and that was a very satisfying moment,” said Chantelle. “I’m really pleased to be working on a new site, so I can see the project through from start to finish.

“I never envisaged working out on site, but there are amazing opportunities and more options than I ever realised. I think more women should get into the industry – it’s not just a man’s world!

“I get huge job satisfaction from speaking to trades, ticking jobs off the list, making things happen and seeing projects completed, so this is a great role for me.”

Chantelle had worked as a sales advisor for five years before deciding she needed a fresh challenge.

“I am gaining lots of knowledge and have a newfound respect for site managers and the work they do day to day,” she said. “My training is intense but very useful and informative and everyone has been very supportive of my ambitions.”

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