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Christina Helier Houlgrave
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Inclusion & Diversity ManagerSkanska
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Burger flipper

In a hot sweaty burger van in Manchester - it taught me I wanted to work in a stationary, air conditioned, grease free work environment!

BBC - Children in Need - Financial Admin

A temp job that made me realise I wanted to do work that had a purpose.

Skanska - Bid Writer

A Swedish Construction company that paid well and I had such a fun team to work with and a great company culture

Social Sustainability Adviser - Skanska

My break through into the field of sustainability. My job was to make the world better and I loved it.

Sweden, Norway & USA International Work assignment - Skanska

I then got onto a leadership development programme that meant I got paid to live abroad. Best year and a half of my life.

Inclusion & Diversity Manager
Skanska

Responsible for driving Inclusion and Diversity practices into Skanska UK's national operations and creating an inclusive workplace environment for all 5,500 employees.

The company took a chance on me. I knew nothing about this job, and went from it being a temporary assignment to a permanent role. I get to do the most exciting projects that make a real positive impact on people's lives.

All my sustainability based roles of Social Sustainability Adviser and Inclusion & Diversity Manager

An Inclusion & Diversity Manager, but you would never be able to guess the industry I work in...it is construction! I was lucky enough to stumble across the Swedish construction company called Skanska.  The Swedish culture, values and sustainability ambitions is what has kept me excited and engaged for the last 7 years. With experience working in the field of sustainability and getting the chance to live and work abroad in Sweden, Norway and the USA. I have the best job in the world 😀 

Construction

Do the menial tasks – they build trust, demonstrate commitment and willingness to be involved

Tell people about your ambitions – most people want to help but they cannot read your mind

Find a mentor yourself – don’t wait for one to be given to you

It’s not failure – just an alternative route. There are many unexpected opportunities available don’t be too rigid on where you are going

Deliver - you are only as good as the last thing you delivered

Get comfortable with uncertainty – be patient, don’t expect a smooth ride and see the silver linings when something does not go to plan

My Education
Degree in Economics
University of Manchester
History, ICT, Classical Civilisation, Economics
Watford Grammar School

It was painfully academic. I don;t miss studying at all, I prefer the working world where I get to meet people from all different backgrounds and get paid to do it!

More about me

Networking, dealing with uncertainty, learning on the fly, communicating in different ways, listening to people, challenging senior people and presenting

I had a mentor that I personally picked, as she was calling out everyone on their bullsh*t in a large meeting that was mostly made up of men. I networked and got to know what the people around me did. I told people of my ambitions and how I wanted to work abroad.

I had no clue. I felt like a jack of all trades master of nothing. I hated my degree and had no aims and was not inspired by any career ideas put before me.

Nothing. Every job, no matter how menial, I learnt something really vital that got me where I am today. Only thing might be voice my real honest opinions more, people want to hear from me regardless of how young I was.

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