Faces of Baptcare: Chloe Laukart and Morgan McGannon from our Property team

Some of you may remember a cartoon called Bob the Builder.  Bob came from a family of construction workers - all male – who worked all day with other male characters ‘to get the job done.’ The show was rebooted in mid-2000, with a focus on better representing both genders on the construction site. Bob the Builder now features Wendy, ‘Bob’s smart and dynamic building partner who specialises in electrics’.

Baptcare doesn’t need to reboot. We already have dynamic women working across our organisation in a range of leadership positions, including within our property and construction team. Meet Chloe Laukart and Morgan McGannon.

What does a typical week look like in your job?

As Senior Development Manager of Social Housing at Baptcare, I oversee all of Baptcare’s Social Housing Projects. My week typically starts with a team catch up where we list and delegate key tasks for the week, and then we hit the ground running!

Our projects are in master planning, town planning, detailed design, tendering to builders, construction and/or defects rectification. My role is to guide the project, keep across how the project is progressing, oversee the budget, and manage key stakeholders including at the executive level.

Our group is such a skilled, dynamic team that really care for and help each other. It’s a genuine joy to work with everyone in our team.

As a Development Manager of Social Housing at Baptcare, I’m responsible for two large social housing projects. A typical week involves managing all consultants including principal consultants,  builders, project managers and building surveyors. Other tasks include monitoring risk management, financial reporting, government/board/project reporting and program and project management. As a Development Manager, you need to know a little bit of something about everything from Valuation to Finance, construction and project management. I’m also responsible for reporting to the Project Control Group and FIMC board.

Educational background

Both Chloe and Morgan have impressive educational backgrounds with degrees in Urban Design and Planning (Chloe) and Applied Science/Property/Valuation (Morgan).

They also both have rich industry experience including town and strategic planning of large communities and residential developments, ranging from high-end luxury high rises to aged care and retirement care communities.

What do you like about working in the construction industry?

I love the strategic vision involved in the construction industry - watching vacant land turn into a haven for the community to love and enjoy. One of the most rewarding parts of being involved in property developments is seeing them flourish years later with people enjoying the spaces we helped to create.

I love how dynamic the property industry is. I particularly enjoy working in social housing, assisting and supporting those most vulnerable who are suffering the threat of homelessness. It’s so rewarding to make a material change to people’s lives.’

Apparently, women only make up 12% of the Australian construction industry. Are you conscious of this in your daily work life?

Most workplaces have been respectful and are motivated to promote females to work within the industry. There are certainly times when you may hear a slight comment about being the only female in the room or experience a negative reaction from someone because of your gender. But generally, I’ve learnt it’s important to show your confidence in the room, keep true to yourself, and your work will speak for itself.

My favourite saying is ‘if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well’. I believe, no matter what gender you are, it’s all about your work ethic and the impact you can have on other people’s lives, from anticipating what your boss may need from you before they ask, to designing a beautiful home for someone in need.

I’ve noticed the industry changing over the course of my career. There have been several times where I’ve been the only female in a room in meetings and on projects. However, this situation is definitely changing, -and quite rapidly.

I’m so proud to see that more women than ever are entering the construction/development industry, and taking up many senior management positions, paving the way in innovation, design and excellence.

I’ve had – and continue to have - some incredible female and male mentors over the years who have encouraged me and provided advice on how to handle obstacles, each bringing a different lens to the situation and experience in their professional life.

I highly recommend that any young females and males entering the industry seek out mentors (both male & female) who they trust to provide advice and support in navigating roles in this fast-paced industry!

Baptcare has a fantastic ratio of male and female members in the team and in the Board and Leadership teams which I find inspiring for my career development. As Chloe mentioned, a can-do attitude, dedication and skill set/ ability will shine through no matter what gender you are.