North East entrepreneurs lead the way for women in construction with new ventures

The three businesswomen have launched their new firms as research shows more women are seeking careers in construction

Left to Right: Siobhan McMahon, director at Emerald Architects, Maria Ferguson, director at Maria Ferguson Planning Ltd and Beth Brierley-Jones, director of Brierley J Recruitment Ltd
Left to Right: Siobhan McMahon, director at Emerald Architects, Maria Ferguson, director at Maria Ferguson Planning Ltd and Beth Brierley-Jones, director of Brierley J Recruitment Ltd

Three female entrepreneurs who have a combined 44 years of experience in construction have taken a leap of faith to launch their own companies.

Beth Brierley-Jones, Maria Ferguson and Siobhan McMahon have launched businesses in recruitment, planning and architecture, having met as members of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) where Siobhan has the role of national chair.

The businesswomen’s new ventures come as new industry research projects the proportion of women working in construction will rise to 26% by 2020.

Over the course of their careers the trio have collaborated with a variety of businesses.

Ms McMahon has worked with national and international public and private sector organisations and contractors, Ms Ferguson has experience with local authorities and within commercial, energy and waste sectors and Mrs Brierley-Jones has established construction and property recruitment businesses within the North East for blue chip and SME companies.

Mrs Brierley-Jones has established Brierley J Recruitment Ltd to deliver partnership recruitment for built environment professionals, while Ms Ferguson has founded Maria Ferguson Planning Ltd.

Meanwhile Ms McMahon is director at Emerald Architects.

She said: “With over 20 years’ experience working in the construction industry, I knew the time was right to start up my own architectural practice.

“I have always built strong relationships with my clients, consultants and contractors to deliver quality projects that are unique to their individual needs. I bring a different dimension to male dominated construction teams that enable us to find a more diverse solution by offering a different perspective.

“The three of us starting up our businesses within months of each other illustrates the support and confidence women have in the construction industry and it clearly demonstrates how far the sector has moved forward in attracting women.

“There is a still a lot to do to encourage young women into construction, but hopefully stories like ours will help inspire them.”

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