• Celebrating the great women of Ballymore: Part III

Celebrating the great women of Ballymore: Part III

This week we celebrate International Women’s Day by catching up with three of our colleagues across the business to see what the day means to them, and their experiences working in the construction industry. 

During her short time with us, Helen McNamara has already been recognised by colleagues as having a calm and balanced approach to life which ignites her natural ability in being able to deal with people with deep compassion and care, making her the perfect first port of call in our offices at Ballymore. 

We chat to her about her job as our Receptionist, life generally, and how she’s found raising a family whilst fulfilling her own aspirations. 

‘I’ve raised three strong young women’

I’ve led a varied life career-wise, yet dealing with people is always the same. I think everyone should be offered compassion and empathy and a chance to be listened to. I deal with Aftercare at Ballymore, as well as the day to day running, so I’m often having to sort out problems for people. 

At heart, we’re all consumers so I can relate to everybody on that level, but fundamentally, I like people and want to help them. It’s coming up to a year working here and I love it. It sounds cliche, but it’s the people that make it - they’re the friendliest bunch! Many have high-pressure jobs, but they never take anything out on you, everyone is treated with kindness and respect and that’s really important. 

Lending an ear

My job means I get to meet many different people daily, with contractors coming in for meetings and staff constantly around. I pop a bowl of sweets on my desk for anybody who wants one, I like to encourage people to come and say hello, the sweets lure them in. I love engaging with people and can pick up on a person’s mood quickly. 

My kids are older now and some have their own families, but I feel very fortunate that I was able to be at home with them during their formative years. That said, I still did my bit, providing accommodation for students and setting up my own business from home sourcing and selling diamond tip blades having spotted a niche in the market. Essentially though, I was where I wanted to be, with my children. I'm acutely aware that it’s not always easy for women to have a career and a family, especially when a child is sick; I’m still incredibly grateful that I had that opportunity.

Equality for all 

Whilst I recognise that International Women’s Day is a positive thing, I feel that every day should be for everyone! I don’t like to distinguish specifically on gender, as I believe it’s about who you are as a person, although I recognise that I’ve been incredibly fortunate and led a very privileged life as a woman when so many haven’t. I raised three amazing daughters, and a son who values equality and is brilliantly respectful. I wanted them to experience real life and different cultures so we moved to West Africa for two years when they were aged between four and fourteen. I really believe that experience has had an everlasting effect on them and has made them very humble individuals with an acute awareness of the importance of human connection. 

I’m really happy working at Ballymore and enjoying this period of my life, working full time, seeing my grandchildren, and writing a book! I’ve always written - in the past it was plays and now a work of fiction called ‘MisConceptions.’ I don’t know where it will lead but as I’ve always said, ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ – a great message for everyone I think!


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