The first female Plant Manager at one of Britain’s biggest building materials manufacturers is overseeing the production of an industry-leading range of construction products, whilst encouraging more women to consider careers in manufacturing.
Sharon Harris, Plant Manager at Forterra’s Hams Hall facility in Coleshill.
Sharon Harris, Plant Manager at Forterra’s aircrete block production facility Hams Hall in Coleshill, rose within the company to become the first ever female manager of a Forterra facility in July last year, after being promoted from her former role as the company’s Head of HR. Sharon oversees more than 100 employees in their production of over 8,000m3 of Thermalite aircrete blocks daily, and over 327,000m3 annually. Thermalite, a Forterra-exclusive product, is one of the country’s most popular aircrete blocks and is playing a vital role in the building of new homes across the UK.
Sharon said: “It’s great to be operating in a leadership role with Forterra. 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.”
Construction manufacturing industries have long been stereotypically viewed as heavily male-dominated. Forterra is committed to encouraging more women to turn to the construction industry and learn more about its many career pathways and opportunities. On 4th 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.
Stephen Harrison, Chief Executive of Forterra, 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.”