Inspire Awards 2018 celebrates diversity in the built environment

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The people and organisations trailblazing the way towards a more inclusive and diverse built environment workforce were honoured at the Inspire Awards 2018 ceremony in Manchester on 5 June

The Inspire Awards is dedicated to showcasing and promoting a more diverse and inclusive culture in construction, engineering and housing. Set against a national skills crisis, Brexit and an ageing workforce, the message the event aims to deliver has perhaps never been timelier.

Joe Broun, Managing Director of UK Business Events (UKBE), which organised the awards in conjunction with Don’t Panic Events, said: “Tonight was all about honouring the companies and organisations, large and small, that are creating an inclusive environment where all employees can thrive, as well as those individuals within the sector dedicated to equality and fairness. We have received tremendous support from the industry with over 100 submissions. Our judging panel faced a difficult task in choosing the winners.

“We are also delighted to have raised £1,300 for tonight’s charity partner, the Construction Youth Trust, who are doing an incredible job in inspiring young people, often from under-privileged or under-represented backgrounds, into a viable and rewarding career path in the built environment.”

The main event was hosted by journalist and broadcaster Marverine Cole, with a welcome speech from Harish Bhayani, a senior partner at PRM Diversity Consultants, who also served on the Inspire Awards’ judging panel.

A Trans-Atlantic flavour was provided by Barbara Res in a special video message from New Jersey, US. Res is renowned as the first woman to be placed in charge of a major New York City construction site. In 1979 none other than the current US President, Donald Trump, hired Res to project manage the construction of Trump Tower.

“Trump liked to refer to me as ‘killer’,” she said. “In his mind, that’s what a woman had to be to be successful. By his own admission, Trump said that he thought men were superior. But he told me a good woman is better than 10 good men. He thought that was a compliment. But what he was doing was acknowledging to me that women had to work harder, smarter and generally for less money.”

Res added: “Although sexism and discrimination continue to be part of life, things are improving and that is, in no small way, thanks to the individuals and businesses who strive to make inclusion, diversity and equality a part of their model.”

Inspire Awards 2018 winners:

Most Inspiring Contractor: Golden Lane Housing Ltd

Presented by Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB)

Most Inspiring Training Programme: Skills 4 Ltd

Presented by: Sharon Slinger – Director, Constructing Rainbows

Most Inspiring Apprenticeship Programme: Fortem

Presented by: Kate Myers – Head of Skills, Employment & Education, HS2

Most Inspiring Housing Provider: Steve Biko Housing Association

Presented by:  Raj Patel – CEO, Housing Diversity Network

Most Inspiring Mental Well-being Initiative: Galliford Try

Presented by:  Kathryn Lennon-Johnson – Founder of Built Environment Skills in Schools

Most Inspiring Consultancy: Trowers & Hamlins

Presented by:  Anthony Dillon – Managing Director, North, Willmott Dixon

Most Inspiring Community Project: Steve Biko Housing Association

Sponsored by: Redrow Homes
Presented by:  Clare Hindley – Learning and Development Manager

Most Inspiring Building Project:  Matt Hampson Foundation, Willmott Dixon Construction

Presented by:  Asif Sadiq – Head of Diversity and Inclusiveness, Ernst & Young

Most Inspiring Employer:  Morson International 

Presented by:  Tony Ginda – Membership Development Director, Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

Most Inspiring Mentor:  Bev Williams, Willmott Dixon Interiors 

Presented by:  Christina Riley – Senior Construction Planner & Equality Diversity Inclusion Specialist, Kier Group

Most Inspiring Employment Initiative: Arhag Housing Association

Presented by:  Chris Keast – Chair of the Diversity Special Interest Group, Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

Most Inspiring Supplier: Hilti (GB) Ltd

Presented by Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB)

Most Inspiring Rising Star – Under 30:  Stewart Long, Barratt London

Sponsored by: Whitbread
Presented by: Alex Flach, Construction & Maintenance Director

Most Inspiring Rising Star – 30 & over:  Manjeeta Pathak, Redrow Homes

Presented by:  Livia Williams – Director, Women in Roofing

Most Inspiring Role Model – Under 40:  Anna Koukoullis, Willmott Dixon Interiors

Presented by:  Barry Cullen – Diversity and Inclusion Director, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Most Inspiring Role Model – 40 & over:  Kate Tinsley, Buildbase (collected by Sue Ross)

Presented by:  Chris Keast – Chair of the Diversity Special Interest Group, Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

Most Inspiring Diversity Champion:  Bev Williams, Willmott Dixon Interiors

Presented by: Harish Bhayani – Senior Partner, PRM Diversity Consultants.

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