Inspiring inclusion: Leicestershire developer celebrates International Women’s Day by shining a light on its female staff

A developer providing brand new homes across Leicestershire is inspiring inclusion this International Women’s Day (March 8), by sharing the story of an assistant site manager who secured a career in construction immediately after leaving school.

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Hannah Cross, 22, from Wolverhampton was promoted to the role of assistant site manager last year, after previously working as a trainee project manager with MORRO.

Joining the company in 2020, Hannah is now undertaking a degree in Construction Management at Birmingham City University, sponsored by MORRO, to further develop her skills.

Hannah said: “After finishing my A-level, I joined for two weeks’ work experience, immediately after which I was delighted to be offered a permanent position and the chance to do a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Construction and the Built Environment. MORRO really supported me through that and I came out with a Distinction.

Hannah Cross is one of MORRO’s assistant site managers. IMG_8312Hannah Cross is one of MORRO’s assistant site managers. IMG_8312
Hannah Cross is one of MORRO’s assistant site managers. IMG_8312

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported recently that while as of Q2 in 2023 women made up the highest proportion of construction workforces across the UK, the percentage was still as low as 15.8 per cent.

With a number of a female employees already in a range of roles across the company, MORRO is keen to break the stereotype around women working in construction, with one of its key pledges to become better tomorrow makers.

Hannah added: “There is a strong encouragement within the business for not only women being in construction, but for the continued development and progression thereafter.

“It’s also not only female inclusion, we have people from all different backgrounds and training levels both male and female.

Michelle Howe, health and safety co-ordinator, on-site at one of MORRO’s developments.Michelle Howe, health and safety co-ordinator, on-site at one of MORRO’s developments.
Michelle Howe, health and safety co-ordinator, on-site at one of MORRO’s developments.

“MORRO are extremely supportive when it comes to equality, and continues to employee more and more female site-based employees.

Firmly part of the MORRO family, Hannah’s experience, skill-set and knowledge base built up in her three years so far with the developer means she is well-equipped to take on any challenge that comes her way and offer advice for any women considering venturing into construction.

Hannah concluded: “We deserve a place in the industry just as much as any man.

“I wasn’t put off by the industry being male-dominated, I saw it as a challenge, and thankfully I have been supported and encouraged throughout my journey.

“You’re not taking up a space in the industry, we are the women of today and the future, so to be breaking down stereotypes is something to be extremely proud of.”

Another of MORRO’s inspirational employees, is Michelle Howe, 57 from Burntwood, who works as a health and safety co-ordinator, having joined in 2022 following a previous career in concrete manufacturing.

Michelle, who works across several developments providing new homes in the Midlands, said: “Since joining MORRO, I have felt well-supported in my role, having undergone extensive training to enable my transition from manufacturing to construction.

“I work with many different site teams regularly and know that my opinions are not only listened to be valued as well. I have never felt anything other than welcomed and accepted by the site personnel.”

One of MORRO’s brand values is to become better people makers, with the developer taking a holistic approach the people who make their developments and offices a great place to work, having instilled a culture of open dialogue within the business.

Michelle added: “I know the value that MORRO places on its people and understand the opportunity for career progression that comes with that.

“I have a strong working relationship with my manager and the teams I work alongside, building up a great rapport across the different locations I operate in.”

International Women’s Day’s theme for this year is Inspiring Inclusion, and Michelle firmly believes that MORRO is a key part of the positive drive within the construction industry to promote equality and raise awareness about discrimination and unconscious bias.

Michelle concluded: “If I could give any advice to women thinking about starting a career in construction, I would tell them that they absolutely should pursue it.

“I think that working in construction is far more inclusive than it was five years ago, and there are now a lot more women actually working on site.”

Previously named Jessup Partnerships for over 30 years, the developer has recently re-branded to MORRO Partnerships. Created on the solid foundations of its new purpose to be Better Tomorrow Makers, MORRO have developed a modern and digital-first brand that reflects its growth over the last year and its promise to continue building sustainable communities across the Midlands.

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