Celebrating the diverse careers of five Thakeham women
At Thakeham we welcome the opportunity to celebrate International Women’s Day and we believe we have a story to share. We are a fast growing company with big aspirations and values to match. As we have grown, our team has expanded quickly and we are delighted to provide new and exciting opportunities for a number of women. You can read more about them here…
Photograph caption: Helen and family, Sam and Jack, Sarah, Sophia in pink, Hayley and a tractor!
Sam McMillen - Back to work mum working four days a week
Thakeham’s Digital Marketing Executive responsible for all things digital from ensuring our website is up to date with key messages and new homes for sale, to keeping our social media interesting and engaging, to writing content for multiple platforms, to making sure our imagery tells its own story.
Having taken a year off to have a baby, going back to work was a confusing time - I wanted to work but I wanted to be a mum as well. I wanted less responsibility than in my previous Marketing Manager role but I still needed to be challenged; I also wanted to work part-time and believe me, part time careers are hard to find! When Thakeham offered me the full time position of Digital Marketing Executive I also had two other job offers, all were very different – one contract, one part time, one full time, two in real estate, one local, one further afield.
Thakeham was local, a sector in which I had experience and interest and the role offered the right level of responsibility with the opportunity to take existing skills to a new level in digital marketing. However, it was full time which made the decision difficult. An honest approach often works best so I spoke to my recruitment agent regarding my concerns about working full time. They liaised with Thakeham and, to my delight, we negotiated a four day week. I accepted straight away.
I could not be happier in my new role - I work with a great team, my role is varied, it offers me a great opportunity to learn and importantly it allows me the time to be more than a weekend mum. Work life balance achieved!
Sophia Thorpe - Career driven woman leading growing team
Thakeham’s Senior Strategic Planner responsible for managing the planning team that oversees and leads the promotion and progression of the Thakeham land portfolio and delivers residential consents.
As a career driven Chartered Town Planner, after a stint in planning consultancy followed by six years working for a strategic land promoter, I decided I wanted to progress my experience, skills and knowledge and to do this I needed a new challenge. Very reluctantly I decided the only way to achieve this was to move on - the decision to leave a highly regarded and established team, many who were by then friends, was exceptionally hard. I could happily have stayed in my role but for my aspiration to progress my career. Sitting still was not an option!
I met with Thakeham Homes in 2013 and was inspired by their vision and enthusiasm. I knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse; it would be hard work but would allow me to progress, learn, support, lead, develop and add value to the business. The vision for strong business growth and a new role that would challenge my existing strategic planning experience was exactly what I was looking for. I joined as Planning Manager in a newly formed planning department to add input to the wider business growth plan with the support of my new colleagues.
Three years on and we have grown as a team and grown as a business. My personal growth in terms of knowledge and experience has been recognised in my recent promotion and I have many new friends – I conclude that I made the right decision! Thakeham offers me the opportunity to continue to challenge myself in my career with the support necessary to achieve future success.
Hayley Fraser - From temp to perm – embracing new opportunities
Thakeham’s Land & Planning Assistant responsible for all administration tasks including mapping potential sites and gathering information to assist the planning department in carrying out a detailed planning appraisal.
Thakeham Client - Commercial & Technical Assistant. A varied role assisting the team with tender submissions, administrative duties for live sites including material orders and subcontractor payments.
I joined Thakeham two years ago in a temporary position. I was encouraged by my recruitment agent who said Thakeham invested time and support in its staff and that career progression within the company was common. I was delighted when I was asked to stay within a permanent Receptionist position.
I’ve always been interested in property and construction but lacked the experience to progress a more specific career path, so I was excited to be part of the Thakeham team and see where it would take me. I was clear that I would be open to new opportunities and following a year on Reception, where I learnt a lot about the company, teams, roles and responsibilities, I was offered a new role.
In the new role my time would be split between the land department and the commercial team, Thakeham Client, providing administrative support. I have learnt about the land process - how we identify sites, what constraints there can be with locations and how they can be overcome. With Thakeham Client, I have learnt vast amounts about the build-side of the business - how we tender new contracts, the relationship between us and our contractors and suppliers, and how a project progresses and is managed by the team.
It’s been a fast learning curve and a fantastic opportunity and I am grateful for the belief in my skills and ability to take the challenge on.
Helen Bradley – Back to work following 16 year career break
Thakeham’s Technical Coordinator assisting in the management and coordination of all external consultants of the Technical Team, in the production of drawings for the design of site developments, whilst providing technical information and support to internal departments and the site teams.
After a 16 year career break from the construction industry to raise my family, I was delighted to be given an opportunity by Thakeham to join their Technical Department as a Technical Coordinator and get back on the ‘construction ladder'. Having previously had experience drafting for a local authority, the new role and time out of industry meant that I was to embark on an interesting but challenging journey almost starting from scratch.
Thakeham steadily grew and my role evolved along with the company’s standards and vision. My time at Thakeham has been positively challenging and extremely interesting and the Thakeham Family is literally that, a close network of like-minded people all striving to make Thakeham an industry leader in both quality and attitude to business.
I feel very proud of my achievements since joining Thakeham and grateful to be given the opportunity to be a part of its growth and success.
Sarah Sutcliffe - Graduate enjoying first career opportunity
As a Thakeham Graduate Planner the responsibilities are varied, from identifying and appraising new strategic sites, preparing planning appraisals, undertaking background policy research, leading the discharge of Planning Conditions, progressing Reserved Matters and Full planning applications through to assisting team members with the progression of strategic portfolio sites.
When I completed my Masters degree in Spatial Planning at Oxford Brookes University in 2013, there were several career paths I could take. It was an exciting time; I had an open mind on ‘what and where’ but was adamant I would begin my career in a company which encouraged me to push myself professionally.
When I first saw the advertisement for a Graduate Planner at Thakeham, I was unsure of what to expect. Thakeham had an intriguing recruitment process which involved the completion of a written research and analysis task to demonstrate competence, rather than assessing on previous experience - this provided an extremely valuable opportunity for someone like me, who had limited professional experience, to demonstrate my capability.
After further research and an initial meeting, it was evident Thakeham could offer exactly what I was looking for - a company with ambition and drive which would allow me varied insight into development and housebuilding and would encourage me to progress my career to becoming a chartered Town Planner.
I’ve been here for over two years now and I am constantly learning and evolving. With the company and my teams’ continued support, I am nearing submission of my Assessment of Professional Competence, on the path to being a chartered member of the RTPI this summer, following which I will be promoted to a more senior position.