15-year-old Cardiff girl takes over as CEO of Barratt Developments for International Day of the Girl


A girl from Cardiff has taken over as CEO for the day at the country’s largest housebuilder, Barratt Developments, as part of activities supported by Plan International UK for International Day of the Girl.

15-year-old Qahira took part in the girls’ takeover in London earlier this month, starting the day by touring one of Barratt London’s newest sites in Tooting, before launching a programme to support women’s career development. 

The takeover was part of Plan International UK’s activities to celebrate and recognise the power of girls, which saw girls taking over positions across the worlds of business, media, technology, and politics.


Qahira commented on her time at Barratt: “I saw the amount of dedication, passion, and the sense of community which goes into building homes. It’s really broadened horizons for me, seeing how many roles are available in construction. It’s been a really good experience being CEO for a day.”

Interviewed by Qahira about how Barratt could be more inclusive, regular CEO David Thomas said: “We have to change the way we do things, change the way we behave as an organisation, to attract a more diverse workforce. We know we have to become more diverse and we are working hard to do that through great initiatives such as Girls Takeover, and this year’s Catalyst programme helping to support female career development.”

Barratt joined others including AstraZeneca, Clear Channel UK, the Office for National Statistics, and the Financial Times, to celebrate International Day of the Girl by challenging gender stereotypes and showcasing the variety of roles across their organisations.

The takeovers were part of wider activities that included partnerships with Hillary Clinton, astronaut Tim Peake, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo, filmmaker Gurinder Chadha, and Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman.

Claire Boulton, Head of UK Programmes at Plan International UK, said: “Girls’ Takeovers are a celebration of girls occupying spaces where they are rarely seen or heard, so we were thrilled to team up with Barratt Developments and David for this year’s International Day of the Girl. Qahira did a fantastic job taking over as CEO for the day, and I hope the experience inspires more girls like her to pursue their chosen careers without fear of gender stereotypes holding them back.”

For more information about Plan International UK, visit https://plan-uk.org/poweredbygirls