• Celebrating the great women of Ballymore: Part II

Celebrating the great women of Ballymore: Part II

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. 

Today we met Flavia Coelho who’s had to tackle more than most to get to where she is today, including learning a whole new language as part of her decision to move to Ireland from her home in Brazil. 

Here, she tells us how she’s settled into her role as a Design Coordinator here at Ballymore and why it was worth the sacrifice. 

“I’ve found more women than ever are being welcomed into the industry”

I’ve worked at Ballymore for almost two years but have been in the construction industry for much longer. I grew up, and began my career in Brazil, working there as an architect for nine years before deciding that I wanted to move abroad. In 2017 I made it happen and took the plunge, moving here to Ireland. It was a big move and involved making a few sacrifices, but I was adamant it was what I want to do even though it was very hard to leave my family. 

My next challenge of course was learning the English language as a native Brazilian! So for the first couple of years I invested all of my energy into doing just that whilst earning a living working in restaurants and cleaning to get by.  

In my third year here I was fluent enough to be able to do a master’s degree in project management which meant I could then get back to doing what I love, working in construction. It’s a challenging job, and I can’t say it’s always easy, but I honestly can’t see myself doing anything else. I’m responsible for coordinating all the Design elements of our projects, ensuring the Ballymore aesthetic is adhered to at every stage and in keeping with stringent health and safety guidelines. I oversee the design, working with the commercial department and site team right up to construction. Currently I’m overseeing three projects so it keeps me very busy! 

A job for life 

I have to say, I’ve found more women than ever are being welcomed into the industry and that is really nice to see. I have found in the past that as a woman I maybe didn’t get taken as seriously as male colleagues, especially when dealing with external contractors on site, but that has diminished as time has progressed and I would encourage any woman who is passionate about the industry to feel confident in pursuing it. As with any job it has its high-pressure moments, but I love the people and working with all the different departments means I interact with many on a daily basis so it suits me perfectly. There are opportunities for everyone - male or female, it’s more whether it suits you as a person as it’s a dynamic job that involves a lot of problem-solving. I’m in it for the long haul! 

I miss my family of course, and I try and get home to Brazil once a year if I can, but inevitably I miss weddings and birthdays and that’s hard, but I’m incredibly proud of all that I’ve achieved in my career and don’t regret moving despite the sacrifices I’ve made. The work-life balance depends on where I’m up to on any given project but I have a lovely life outside of work seeing friends, keeping fit at the gym and hiking in beautiful Ireland. 

I think International Women’s Day is a great initiative and a way to celebrate every aspect of being a woman, not just the career we choose. We celebrate it in Brazil too so it’s nice to see it’s represented around the world. 


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