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Leading the Construction Industry Council

Posted: 29th June 2023

I have loved leading the Construction Industry Council, a leader of the biggest industry in the UK in its own right.

Reflecting on my two-year term of office as Chair, at the very beginning, my priorities were to continue to build on the solid foundation and lead the organisation, especially during a period of huge change.

I had a clear vision of where I wanted CIC to be and was determined to be a Chair that did not look in the rear-view mirror! I wanted to be part of delivering the ongoing changes needed to stay relevant and successful, and which captured the desires and needs of the market and the professionals. I have seen that collaboration is key and set out to facilitate collaboration and working with our members and others, utilising expertise to shape a built environment that delivers a better society and a better world.

What comes to mind, first and foremost, is the strong and active engagement of the Council in advancing diversity and inclusion. The construction sector has long recognised that becoming an equal opportunity employer is not just an obligation but is also common sense. CIC has an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee, dedicated to identifying and promoting diversity policy and activities within the built environment. Chaired by the irrepressible Bola Abisogun who received an OBE for services to Diversity and Young People in construction in 2019. The EDI committee exemplifies the seriousness with which the subject is being taken. The industry is making huge progress and for those of us in leadership roles and who have championed this journey of seeing an industry evolve, it is all so encouraging.

Now, in the face of this exceptionally demanding terrain, we must be emphatic and mindful to attract, retain, enable and motivate the best and to continually test ourselves to ensure our criteria are optimal and informed by D&I drivers, no matter how tough that is to achieve. The built environment is for everyone and the more inclusive and diverse the industry can become the more it will serve the needs of our communities.

I am really happy to be leaving the Chair on a high. We have made great progress in working together to meet the challenges around building safety and our climate change action plan for professional institutions has moved forward the debate around how to achieve net zero and protect biodiversity. CIC is an organisation that has never been more relevant for our members and professionals within the built environment although I'm well aware that it is the efforts of all the amazing board members and the CIC teams that got us here.

It's not always been easy sitting in this Chair but the best challenges always have their ups as well as downs. I've enjoyed every minute and I hope my successor can take the industry on to even greater heights. Most importantly, I would like to thank all my amazing colleagues, as well as all stakeholders for the confidence and trust that you have placed in me, it has been a privilege and an honour for me to have worked so closely with all of you. Huge thanks and admiration also to Graham Watts OBE who has led CIC for so long and welcomed me and my ambition with open arms. During the two-year term, I have come to count him and his wonderful team as friends, and long may those friendships continue.

I would like to welcome Dr. Wei Yang, CIC’s current Deputy Chair, into her role as Chair – the first female Chair in CIC’s 34-year history - and I look forward to continuing to work with her for the next year in my capacity as Deputy Chair. I wish her all the luck possible.