Having set up her M&E consultancy in 2012 as a single mother with two young children, being self employed was Karen Jones’ only work option in order to be able to manage financially and earn a living around school hours.
Karen would run her general day by juggling school drop offs with client site visits, office management, running of jobs and project management.
Through sheer grit and a determination to succeed, the consultancy company started to build momentum and Karen found that a number of her self-build clients would come to her for advice.
“A number of the women, left at home to manage “the builders” while their husbands were at work would regularly consult me on the building process or request referrals for tradesmen on their projects as they felt at ease with me as a fellow woman. Clients could discuss their issues without feeling inadequate having to communicate directly with the builder.”
As this was happening on a more regular basis, Karen decided to take the plunge and set up CKL Build Group, which offers a total build solution, from planning, build and everything in between right through to the hand-over of keys.
The company has thrived through the pandemic and Karen is certain that being a female boss of a construction company in what is traditionally a man’s world, is a contributing factor to the success of the business and the reason it stands out from other build companies.
Karen, who considers each project individually and on its own merit, said;
“Every project will always have its own set of challenges, it’s how you deal with the challenges that make the difference.”
Karen is a Committee Member of Women in Property South Wales and campaigns strongly for equality within the built environment, believing that success and achieving one’s goals are all about having the right attitude and mindset, enjoying what you do and being confident in your knowledge and experience.
“There will always be the minority that continue to be disrespectful, however we need to work together on the majority to educate our younger generation through schools and the running of workshops. We can then ensure that we give every young person who shows an interest in the sector the opportunity to pursue a career in the construction industry. The world of marketing and media should also be more inclusive and take a less stereotypical approach to the sector.
With a continuing high demand both in residential and commercial sectors and a boom during the COVID pandemic, the industry will yield huge opportunities in the future. As a company we are always looking for skilled contractors and apprentices to help us fulfil our growing pipeline of work , regardless of race or gender, which enables us to continue to pioneer our ethos that “construction is for everyone” .