It was a proud moment when our Cornwall Director, Glayne Price MCIAT, took to the stage to receive her most recent accolade as the winner of the ‘Women in Property & Construction’ award at the West Country Women Awards 2023.
The mission of the West Country Women Awards is to celebrate and honour the achievements of women in the West Country, recognizing their outstanding contributions to various fields and their positive impact on the community.
The glittering event held in December provided much-deserved recognition, celebrating Glayne’s remarkable career journey so far and highlighting her pivotal role as a mentor and ambassador dedicated to supporting women in the construction industry.
Glayne Price has been part of the LHC Design team for over 30 years – joining us as an apprentice and working her way up through the business to become a Director and owner. She left school following her GCSEs and never considered herself ‘academic.’ Glayne planned to follow her father into the Navy as a draughtsperson, but this required A levels. Recognising that this wasn’t for her, she went on to complete an OND in Building Studies at Plymouth College of Further Education.
On completion, she only had one interview securing a role with LHC Design’s predecessor company (The Company of Designers), so technically, she has been with us ever since!
As a Junior Architectural Technician, she completed her HNC in Building Studies part-time whilst working and was encouraged to join CIAT (Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists) as an Associate member. After years of gaining experience, she eventually undertook her professional interview and received her Chartership status (MCIAT) in 2008.
“If I look back at my 16-year-old self, I would never have dreamt of being where I am today! The opportunities provided to me at LHC Design have been exceptional, and I have managed to pick them up and run with them – it’s been quite a journey and one that isn’t finished yet!”Glayne Price MCIAT
Her hard work, commitment, and mentoring of our team for over 30 years led to the delivery of a wide range of projects across the UK. She leads the technological and detail design aspects – merging concept, innovation and achieving reality on various projects.
Glayne excels in design development, project management, and forging client relationships across commercial, educational, and residential projects. Notably, she led the complex refurbishment of the award-winning JCB Academy in Uttoxeter (which was Britain’s first University Technical College) as well as spearheading many major developments in the South-West. Since 2016, she led the West Carclaze Garden Village scheme in Cornwall, where we have been undertaking the master planning, landscape & architectural elements of the design. The development regenerates 550 acres of brownfield ex-industrial land into 350 acres of managed parkland and a village of low-carbon homes.
In November, we celebrated LHC’s transition from Victoria to The Workshed Liskeard with Glayne Price at the helm; this vibrant hub was delivered by LHC, and led by Glayne, for a new era of the Digital and Creative industries.
Her support and leadership within the SW construction industry are significant, and she is widely recognised across the region, showing what can be achieved by someone in the profession. Her dedication to improving her skills and growing her career is exceptional and she is suitably recognised by her peers and contemporaries.
She is also extremely generous with her time. For many years, she has done a tremendous amount as chair of South West Women in Construction (SWWIC) – which has had significant success in increasing diversity in construction across the region. The organisation has been key to ensuring we create opportunities within the education sector to highlight the numerous careers available within the construction industry. Among many other awards during her career, she was jointly awarded The John Laurence Special Contribution Award with SWWIC. An award that recognises and celebrates outstanding property and construction professionals and organisations in the region. She remains a SWWIC committee member to this day.
A regular speaker at events, her mantra is ‘If You can see it. You can be it’. She is vehement that we ensure that women see the opportunities available to them.
“I have always admired her leadership of SWWIC and how contagious her enthusiasm is for all things construction. Over recent years, she has grown the SWWIC membership by nearly 200% and worked hard to create a safe, trusted network for women in construction to support each other both professionally and personally.”Emma Hewitt | Skills Lead. Education, Participation and Skills Plymouth City Council
Glayne is proud that diversity, equality and inclusion are one of the key targets LHC create and maintain. The aim is for our teams to be truly representative of all sections of society in order for each of us to feel respected and able to give their best. We are a practice that treats our clients with respect and seeks to provide solutions that are relevant to their needs and requirements. Glayne is 1 of 2 females who sit on the Senior Management Team; we hope this shows everyone in the business that there is no ‘glass ceiling’ and that a route for progression is there should you want it and are prepared to work for it.
She recalls during her college years that “there were 3 women studying alongside 25 men.” With the arrival of degrees in technology, the gender divide has become marginally more balanced. The construction workforce was 15.8 per cent female from April to June 2023, but there is still a long way to go.
Glayne feels the biggest factors holding women back from pursuing a career in a role traditionally associated with the opposite sex begins with insufficient exposure, at an early age, to the vast opportunities available within the construction industry. Moreover, there is a prevalent apprehension among women about not being perceived seriously and encountering prejudice.
Glayne Price has spent the past three decades working hard to change all that and showing young women the diversity of careers in construction. She said: “The range of roles is huge, and I think the whole conversation on construction gets pigeonholed to site work.”
For example… when contemplating a career in accounting, why not explore quantity surveying? If you excel at coordination, why not delve into project management? If you are intrigued by understanding how things work, engineering could be a promising path. A keen eye for detail and how things come together could lend itself to a role as an architectural technologist. On the other hand, if you hate desk-bound routines and relish active problem-solving, perhaps a career as a tradesperson is worth considering. Surprisingly, despite these diverse options, the overwhelming majority of women have never considered a career in this industry.
Her message is clear, go out there, promote your industry, make it something that is enjoyable and that you can excel in!
Throughout her career, she has felt that mentorship has been key, as her route to success was unconventional. ‘I’m proud of my career journey and haven’t let it hold me back. I am a ‘heart on my sleeve’ type of person and am naturally hard on myself, but early on I was given a very useful piece of advice; never be afraid to say you don’t know the answer but that you’ll find out. It’s much better to own up to not knowing about something, and to go away and find out about it than to over-promise and under-deliver.’
“Throughout my career I have turned from guided to guider and offer help and support wherever possible and to whoever needs it. “Glayne Price MCIAT
She recalls a particularly difficult and uncomfortable meeting she had on a project. She left the presentation feeling battered and bruised and then had to drive almost 5 hours home in tears! The process had been difficult, she remarks, ‘but I do believe that I came out the other side of this a stronger person – what did I learn through it? That I was never going to be able to make everyone like the scheme in its presented guise. But I didn’t do too much wrong, and I would come back with a revised version.’
At LHC we know we can turn to Glayne for support, with her unwavering commitment to championing innovative ideas and aiding their realization. Just last year, she took part in a photoshoot for International Women’s Day with other female members of our team to highlight the need to understand and embrace equity. A force to be reckoned with in the construction industry, she is determined to create a more equitable pathway into the industry.
We can’t wait to see how our Cornwall studio continues to grow and deliver a sustainable future under the leadership of Glayne Price.