Merseyside mum-of-three Anita Harrison-Carroll was in search of a career that would fit around her busy family life when she found her way into the construction industry.
It was a move the now 48-year-old described as "nerve-wracking," as she stepped out of her job in IT and into a repairs and maintenance focused role that was new to her.
Now the managing director for commercial services at The Sovini Group with teenage children, Anita recalled: "I joined the group about 10 years ago. I had quite a young family at the time, so the life of an IT consultant and having to travel in my role as a procurement manager didn't really fit in with what I wanted to get out of a work-life balance.
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"I decided to look for a new job and do something totally different. A lot of my skills were transferable, so I joined One Vision Housing - part of The Sovini Group - as a facilities manager.
"I entered this team of all men and it was quite a nerve-wracking move because I'd never worked in repairs and maintenance before."
Anita flourished in the role, and has since taken every chance to develop her own career as well as the business and the opportunities it offers to others.
Not only has she achieved industry recognition herself, having been named business leader of the year at the 2015 Women in Construction Awards, but she was also a driving force behind the creation of Sovini Trade Supplies - the builders merchant arm of The Sovini Group which she now leads as MD in addition to Amianto Services (asbestos removal) and Sovini Waste Solutions.
Anita explained: "As the managing director of three leading North West companies, it is rewarding to offer meaningful employment opportunities, especially through these economically challenging times.
"I strongly believe that doing good is good business, therefore we highly invest in our employees.
"We've put a bespoke training package together to develop staff from within, giving them the skills they need to gain promotions and take that next step in their career.”
This drive to develop local talent is something Anita is proud to be a part of, and her growing businesses currently have a number of new job vacancies on offer as well as opportunities for current employees to keep progressing.
Anita is particularly keen to encourage more women to work in construction, and added: "I was the only woman when I joined and it was a scary prospect so, wherever I can, I champion women in the construction industry. There's no job within our group that a woman can't do."
The Sovini Group has been reaping awards for its commitment to creating an inclusive environment, and was recently recognised by Great Place to Work as the best place to work for women for the fourth consecutive year.
Commenting on the accolade, Anita said: "I'm absolutely delighted. I think it's such an encouraging business to work for and everyone's voices are heard.
"It's not just the best place for women, it's the best place for anybody who is willing to put in hard work."
Alongside her role at Sovini, Anita continues to fulfil other career goals and ambitions.
She is currently studying for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Liverpool John Moores University, and said: "I've always wanted to achieve an MBA by the time I turn 50.
"I didn't get the opportunity to finish a degree - I did an art foundation course and was originally looking to get into fashion and textiles but I decided to have a year out and get some work experience at the time.
"I ended up working as an estimators assistant in a local construction company, before moving into IT and procurement, so I've kind of come full circle."
Anita's advice to others seeking career success is to have confidence in their strengths, and use this to take on new opportunities.
She said: "Face every challenge with a fresh pair of eyes. It's all about knowing what you are good at and making sure you can apply that to something new.
"You don't have to have hands-on experience - know what you can offer and make sure you put that forward."
Anita is currently seeking enthusiastic and motivated employees to her growing businesses within The Sovini Group. For more information, click here.