Penny Linton is a Principal Architect at TODD Architects Ltd
Did you attend a college/university? If so, what did you study?
The Manchester School of Architecture & studied a BA (Hons) Architecture Degree, followed by a Masters in Architecture.
How did you make the move into the construction industry?
From a young age I knew I wanted to be in the construction industry. I was born in Yorkshire where my Dad is a skilled & talented carpenter, wood turner and toy maker. I think I get my love for natural, sustainable materials, design and construction from watching him start with something ordinary, then over a numbers of hours or days, crafting a beautiful object to be cherished and admired. I didn’t know exactly what part of the construction industry interested me more when I left school, so I enrolled at college on a National Diploma in Construction course. I was not deterred from being the only girl, as we studied, bricklaying, surveying, plumbing, materials, structures, along with maths & physics. At the end of the two years I knew that it was my fascination with buildings and design that would lead me to study Architecture.
Would you recommend a move to construction to other women? If so, is there any advice you could share in relation to making the move?
Definitely, I have always been an advocate for equality in the Construction Industry, which has advanced since I entered the industry over 20 years ago. I feel I have an obligation to raise awareness to, whilst emphasising, the growing roles and opportunities in the industry for women. I am proud to work in such a dynamic sector, who wouldn’t want to work in a fast paced, evolving and technology-rich industry. Construction is one of the few industries that makes a crucial difference to our daily lives and can make a positive impact on the world around us. It might sound like a cliché, but no two days of mine are the same, different construction projects can introduce you to new skills, people, disciplines, dynamic new technologies, with challenges that require a fresh perspective daily. At TODD Architects we mentor TY and University students, sharing our knowledge and encouraging students into an industry which is widely diverse and adaptable, with many specialised roles. I know a career in construction is rewarding and challenging, you never know what you might work on, with who or where!
My advice is to be determined, there are many varied roles within the construction industry and many different ways of obtaining them with apprenticeships, vocational training, colleges and universities courses. Find the right route and you will achieve your goals.