Sophie Kelly is a Senior Relationship Manager for idverde’s Housebuilder services, providing landscaping and related services to the housing construction market
How long have you worked in this industry and why did you decide on this career?
“I am surrounded by positive female role models and some fantastic senior females within the construction industry.”
I used to work in the food industry (selling chocolate spread). I was an international sales manager and my territory was everything outside of Europe, so I had a big region!
I wanted to continue to sell to people and I enjoyed travel, but the long stretches away were hard with a family.
I had the opportunity to open-up the North for our Housebuilder services and it has been an exciting journey.
What’s a typical day like for you?
No one day is the same! If I am working from home, I am generally chatting to my customers to understand their needs and to support them with their decisions.
If I am out on site I am working with my clients to see what they see. I like to show my clients how we have improved the environment they are creating for their customers through the landscaping we have installed.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love being with my clients. Sales areas from start to finish are always good projects. Often with revisions that are recognised by our design team and then brought to life by our fantastic installation teams. They are generally tough to the end, with short deadlines, but the end results really do make me feel proud.
Do you feel there are any particular challenges or misconceptions relating to women working in your particular job?
I am generally asked ‘are you going to get muddy?’ when I arrive on site. What my colleagues and clients don’t know is that I am generally out running and getting very muddy at the weekend. We are not meek and weak individuals. Women are strong. We are able to deal with mud and the pressures that being on site throw at us. I enjoy working with all the aspects that an active site brings, with strong site managers, sales execs in offices, and seeing the plots transform.
Why would you recommend a similar career to other women?
I have found the wider idverde family to be extremely positive and supportive to both women and men alike. It does not feel like women are seen to be unable to do things or only suited to certain roles. I am surrounded by positive female role models with my peers in the RRM community and some fantastic senior females within the construction industry.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, Sophie.