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Case Study: Leigh Tholet

Leigh Tholet is the Fleet Asset Manager at Huws Gray. She joined the industry when she was 17 and has a wealth of experience in construction as well as how women can develop and grow in the industry.

Reflecting on her career within the industry, Leigh has passionately embedded herself within the environment. “I’ve been in this very male-dominated industry for 29 years – since I was 17. My role now is to look after 89 of our Hirebase branches which includes all fleet management, purchasing, working with health & safety teams, mobile fitters and workshop staff. We hire everything from an angle grinder through to a five-tonne excavator. It’s a big job!”  

Talking about what it takes to be successful in the industry, Leigh says: “I think you have to be a certain type of character or personality to do well in the construction industry. Being straightforward and no-nonsense is useful but actually I find its product knowledge and experience which helps me to stand out from the crowd. Being called Leigh has its advantages as when people email me they don’t know if I’m a man or woman so the bias doesn’t appear.”

Leigh’s had some great mentors and been given good opportunities to develop her skills. “I’ve always had really good mentors and they just happen to have been male. I’ve been given some really good opportunities but this is because I have proved myself to my colleagues. Again, product knowledge has been so important to me in my career. I’ve had to show that I know what I’m talking about – it’s not assumed that I do in the same way as it may be for my male counterparts.”

For Leigh, networking is key within construction – especially for women. “Informal networks and mentoring is something that I think is really important in the industry. Women offer a different perspective and think outside the box so we really should be trying to get more women through the doors.”


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