Monday, 16 March 2020 15:06   |   Read 1107 times

In light of International Women's Day on 8 March, we’re celebrating the women that contribute immeasurably to Baker Developments this month!

This week, we speak to general manager Jenny Matek, who is a Women In Construction Ambassador at the 2021 Sydney Build Expo. Here, she talks about how she got her start in interior design, important career lessons she’s picked up over the years, and how she hopes the building industry will change to better uplift the careers of women.

  1. What has your experience been as a woman in the construction industry?

It’s been very interesting! I started out in the building industry as an interior designer, but I have always enjoyed all the facets of a build. I enjoyed collaborating onsite, especially negotiating designs with the building experts and quickly developed a passion for home building. As a female on a jobsite, it was difficult to be firm with design without the technical background of construction. This gave me the drive to further my studies.

As my career developed, I was frustrated with some areas of the building industry that still worked with the ‘boys club’ mentality. To have been taken seriously and become successful in the industry, I’ve had to work twice as hard as my male counterparts. 

However, over time, as I’ve met more and more people in the industry, I’ve found the best people to work with who share the same values as me, which is putting the customer first and having a strong, dedicated work ethic.

  1. Have you faced any challenges?

The biggest challenge I’ve faced was not being treated as an equal. There is a misconception that the building industry can only include men, and often the expertise of women can be disregarded and dismissed.

  1. What’s the best part about working in construction?

Being able to help clients navigate the daunting building process and helping them to achieve a better quality of life! At Baker Developments, we all believe in helping people improve their quality of life through building homes to their budget which provides the necessities needed to grow, thrive and create happy memories.

  1. Do you think the industry is doing enough to support women in building?

I am a member of the HIA who support women in the industry through regular conventions where women come together to celebrate and support women in the industry. I’m also a Women In Construction Ambassador at the Sydney Build Expo in 2021. As one of several ambassadors, we’re working to encourage more diversity and equality across Australia's building sector.

  1. What is your advice for young women looking to build a career in the construction industry?

Follow your dreams! Being confident and believing in what you’re doing will result in a long, successful career. There is a lot of support in the industry so don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

  1. What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt in your construction career?

People invest a lot of money into their homes, so it’s important that if you’re looking to begin your own project, that you choose to work with a trusted, quality company that will be as passionate as you are. You also want to pick a company that will ensure the highest level of quality construction.

  1. Right now, women make up 11% of the construction workforce. How do you see this changing in the next 5 to 10 years?

Women are seeing other women in the industry and understanding that the door is open for them too. I am confident that this will grow and look forward to it!

Jenny Matek

Jenny has a passion for building and design and enjoys collaborating with a professional dynamic team. The Baker Developments values of being market leaders as boutique builders compliments Jenny’s strong communication skills and detailed management style.

With experience completing a number of renovations and builds herself prior to joining the team at Baker Developments, Jenny provides a unique insight that assists every client that entrusts Baker Developments with their project investment. With every clients project unique, Jenny understands that providing a high level of service is invaluable to a successful project and delivering above expectation to clients is always at the forefront.

Jenny is creative in her approach as she has a background in interior design however with years of experience in the project home industry thrives on detailed project management that ensures projects are completed in a suitable timeframe with the highest level of finish. To extend her building knowledge to benefit every project, Jenny is currently completing a Certificate IV in Building and Construction focused in Construction Management from TAFE NSW.