Dorset site manager named finalist at prestigious awards

The first female to drive tanks in the British Army, who is now working with Barratt Homes in Wimborne, has won a finalist position in the Ex-Forces in Business Awards.

Victoria Grinnall, 27, worked in the military as an Armoured Engineer for six years, and was the very first female to drive Titan and Trojan tanks.

Last year, after leaving the forces, she signed up to a Barratt Homes’ Armed Forces Transition Programme – a scheme which gives ex-forces personnel the opportunity to become an assistant site manager.

After working at Barratt’s Quarter Jack Park development for nearly a year, Victoria was nominated as a ‘Champion of Women’ in the world’s largest celebration of ex-military personnel in their second careers.

The Ex-forces in Business Awards celebrate the achievements of veterans in the wider workforce, and the ‘Champion of Women’ category acknowledges the gender biases females still need to overcome, in both the armed forces as well as in business. Nominations went to women who have become an inspiration for others wanting to follow a similar path.

Moving from a career in the military to one in construction, Victoria is no stranger to being part of a male-dominated industry but working beside her male counterparts is something the former servicewoman takes in her stride.

She said:

“As the first female to drive tanks, I’m used to being part of an industry which is largely dominated by men. I love the banter and camaraderie, and I’ve always felt like an equal.

It’s also great that companies like Barratt Homes are positively encouraging more women to join business. I’m looking forward to a time when I get to work alongside another female.”

As an equal opportunities’ employer, Barratt Homes works hard to ensure there are roles for everyone regardless of gender, race or background. Not only does this level the playing field for equal opportunities, but it creates a richer and more vibrant working environment.

The Ex-Forces in Business awards ceremony took place in London’s O2 arena in December, and although Victoria didn’t take home the overall win, she was over the moon to be nominated among a high calibre of finalists.

She added:

“Being up against some incredible people after such a short time with Barratt, is just amazing. To even be nominated is a high accolade for me.”

As Victoria nears the end of her year’s training with Barratt, Anthony Dimmick, Barratt Homes’ community liaison manager, wants to highlight the benefits of the housebuilder’s programme, designed specifically for ex-servicemen and women. He said:

“The Transition Programme is a great way for military personnel to enter the world of work on the outside. We are pleased to support our armed forces and seek ways to help them in any way we can.

Victoria is an inspiring woman to have on board and this award nomination only highlights this. We hope her story will encourage other ex-service personnel to come and work with us in the future.”

Barratt Homes is a proud supporter of the Armed Forces and has a number of vital schemes on offer, including the Armed Forces Deposit Contribution Scheme, which gives servicemen and women a 5% deposit contribution (up to £15,000) towards any new Barratt Home.

Founded in 2017 by Disruptive Media Group, the Ex-Forces in Business Awards celebrates the achievements of those leaving the forces and entering new careers. The awards also promote the strong synergies between military values and business excellence.

Barratt Homes is building new homes across Dorset, included at Quarter Jack Park in Wimborne.