Allyship Champion of the Year

This category looks to recognise an individual ally who has gone the extra mile to encourage greater diversity and inclusion in order to support women within construction and engineering. This category is open to anyone, as long as they can demonstrate consistent gender allyship.

Kelly Kartwright
Core Recruiter

As head of a recruitment firm in the male-dominated construction industry, Kelly Cartwright fearlessly challenges norms. Despite industry statistics showing only 12% female representation, Kelly embraces the daily unpredictability, using it to break barriers. Facing skepticism about her contributions and industry knowledge, she acknowledges moments of self-doubt but draws strength from her support network. Kelly recognizes her role in advocating for diversity, addressing the perception that construction isn't suitable for women. By showcasing her own success, she inspires others to envision themselves thriving in unconventional roles, fostering a more inclusive industry. Kelly's message is clear: visibility breeds possibility.

James Fleming
The Power Within Training

James Fleming, a champion for gender diversity in construction, boasts over seven years in training provision. He actively supports Women in Construction through advocacy, mentorship, and organisational initiatives, fostering inclusivity and empowerment. Facing challenges like gender bias and limited opportunities, James spearheads initiatives like the "Women in Leadership" programme, supporting women's career advancement. His efforts combat workplace discrimination and psychological barriers, empowering women to excel in the industry. The Power Within Training's significant achievement lies in its innovative leadership development approach, notably the Motivational Intelligence framework. James plans to expand their "Women in Construction" portfolio, forge partnerships, and achieve global outreach, envisioning a future where women lead in construction. Through James's leadership, the construction industry progresses towards greater inclusivity and empowerment, deserving recognition for his tireless advocacy and commitment to advancing gender diversity.

Dickson Pang
Berkeley Group

Dickson is an perfect candidate for the Women's Allyship Champion of the Year award due to his commitment to gender equality in the male-dominated construction industry. He consistently speaks up for women in meetings, ensuring their ideas and contributions are recognized and valued. Dickson actively challenges gender bias and advocates for the opinions of his female colleagues, empowering them to share their perspectives confidently. His support extends beyond words; he mentors female team members, celebrates their achievements, and provides guidance for professional growth. I have personally witnessed him stand up for a female staff member who was being bullied on site, ensuring a safe and respectful work environment. Additionally, Dickson has conducted research and presented strategies to the St James and St William board to enhance support for women in construction roles. His dedication and genuine allyship set a powerful example, making him the ideal recipient of this award.

Farzana Sarwar
Mothers Into Work

Mothers into Work CIC, led by an independent female entrepreneur, champions gender diversity and inclusion in construction and engineering. Through partnerships with Facework U.K., Facework, the DWP, HRUC Colleges, and universities like Brunel and South Bank, we support mothers and women facing barriers such as disabilities, ethnic minority status, low-income backgrounds, long-term unemployment, care responsibilities, or residing in deprived areas. We offer confidence building and career development classes, training placements, guest lectures, career fairs, and mentoring programs with partners like Mace Interiors, enhancing participants' skills. Our outreach has extended to companies including Mace, Deerns, Equans, Wates, Wilmot Dixon, Morgan Sindall, Ridge and Co, and Ballymore, fostering industry allyship. We attend educational and employment fairs and collaborate with the DWP to drive recruitment and upskilling. Winning this award would amplify our impact, increasing visibility and support for our initiatives and a more gender-equal workplace supporting the economic empowerment of mothers.

Christine Scott
Madison Berkeley

Christine works hard with her clients and candidates to achieve gender parity and inclusion. Her clients are some of the UK’s largest construction companies and through her hard work, determination and ability to educate and inform some of the industry's key decision-makers, she is changing the face of real estate and ensuring it is an industry where women are seen and can succeed to the highest levels. Through her unique communication style and over 20 years of industry experience, she works with women to ensure they go into the boardroom with confidence in their abilities. Through Christine, client conversations regarding candidate lists and diversity have now changed for the better. The gender pay gap within the development and construction arm of the industry is closing and issues such as female retention are being addressed and acted upon at the most senior levels.

Mariska van der Velden
Eckersley O'Callaghan

Mariska is an exemplary figure in the construction and engineering industry, embodying the essence of allyship and advocacy in the realm of diversity and inclusion. Leading the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) committee at Eckersley O’Callaghan, she has spearheaded initiatives aimed at dismantling barriers and biases hindering women's progress in these fields. Mariska's proactive approach has resulted in tangible change within her organization, evident in her orchestration of impactful initiatives such as vibrant social events and securing leadership buy-in for EDI policies. Beyond her workplace, Mariska's influence extends to broader professional circles. Her upcoming review of a book on SAFE leadership for the IStructE magazine highlights her dedication to inclusive practices in traditionally male-dominated fields. Mariska's commitment to supporting colleagues facing mental health challenges underscores her dedication to fostering a safe and understanding workplace environment.