Inspirational Leader – Contractor

This is a category aimed at women in leadership positions at main or specialist contractors who have used their positions to inspire and engage the workforce and improve outcomes for customers and their business.

MCS Construction
Danica Chambers

Danica has been identifying issues on her projects and rectifying these issues using innovative methods that have ended up being published as innovations by the considerate constructors scheme. She has made a great impression on her clients and is aiming to change how the industry is perceived to third parties. Some of the published entries that Danica has achieved include: Elf on the Shelf for hazard Reporting, Speaking Newsletter Card for Neighbours that Struggle to Read, Seeded Paper used for Handouts. These titles show how Danica has gone above and beyond to help her colleagues and clients along with helping out neighbours any way she can and helping to save the bees.

Farrans Construction
Trea Crozier

Described as a 'star already rising' by her direct line manager, Trea Crozier is the epitome of a natural born leader whose passion for the industry is matched by her drive to bring positive changes in the areas of inclusion and diversity. Trea delivers commercial results on our projects by creating collaborative environments, caring about her teams and clients and continually striving for personal development, both for herself and those around her. Her quick career progression into senior roles has been achieved because her 'one of a kind' approach is recognised by colleagues, peers and clients alike. An excellent mentor, knowledgeable peer and enthusiastic socialiser, Trea represents the best version of any person, regardless of gender, that you could aspire to be.

McLaughlin & Harvey
Jane Elder

Jane's exceptional leadership and dedication make her a standout candidate for this award. She has significantly enhanced McLaughlin & Harvey's (McL&H) reputation by championing diversity and inclusion. Jane continuously develops her skills, becoming a FIR Ambassador, LGBTQI+ Awareness advocate, and more. As an advocate for women in construction, she plays key roles in Women in Property and the Considerate Constructors Scheme. Jane mentors disadvantaged young women, helping them gain confidence and employability skills. Her innovative initiatives include the Dignity at Work program and the Bella Centre Women Prison Employability Program. Jane's efforts have led to McL&H achieving consistent ‘Outstanding’ scores in CCS audits and numerous accolades. Her work not only improves our business outcomes but also supports social mobility and empowerment for women, making a significant impact on the wider community. Jane is a true leader who inspires and engages others, creating lasting positive change in the construction industry.

Lucy Fell

Lucy Fell's rise as a leader in the Highways Sector is defined by her resilience and unwavering dedication. Her journey has been influenced by personal health obstacles, a humble socioeconomic upbringing, and a steadfast commitment to fostering diversity and social advancement. She has proactively tackled the barriers that deter women from entering the sector, advocating for essential reforms and driving tangible solutions. Leaving University early due to a severe ovarian cyst, and despite lacking formal qualifications, she rose swiftly to become one of the youngest HSE Inspectors. In 2017, she became the youngest global fellow of IOSH, breaking barriers in this male-dominated field. Lucy's advocacy for period dignity and open discussions on women's health has challenged taboos. Her tenacity and empathy have made her an Inspirational Leader and a role model for aspiring professionals, demonstrating that overcoming personal and professional obstacles can lead to significant achievements and tangible industry change.

Willmott Dixon
Sarah Frith

Sarah's transformative leadership in various design roles at Willmott Dixon, most lately as the Director Designate Design, has significantly impacted the firm's workforce, customers, and community. By fostering a culture of collaboration and inclusion, Sarah revitalised the design department, bringing together a diverse team that operates cohesively and efficiently. Under her guidance, the team experienced unprecedented growth, with 11 promotions and a winning entry in the Building Lives Award, showcasing their commitment to community engagement and social responsibility. Sarah's unique approach, blending empathy with proactive initiatives, has not only propelled her own career to directorship but has also set a new standard for organisational development. From updating job descriptions after 13 years to implementing innovative tracking systems, her dedication to progress is evident. Through her leadership, Sarah has created a workplace where individuals feel valued, respected, and empowered, leading to tangible improvements in both individual outcomes and overall business success.

SC4 Carpenters
Katy Hall

Katy is an open-minded and vocal advocate for women in construction and STEM industries, as well as neurodivergent people, promoting these on the SC4 website and social media. In particular, her honest posts about her own experiences as a neurodivergent woman in construction position her as an inspirational role-model within the industry, and her own business, and provide discussion points, shared experiences and support for others in a similar situation. Although SC4 Carpenters Ltd is a small specialist contractor within the construction industry, Katy believes that every organisation and individual can make a difference by speaking out about fairness, equity, respect, inclusion, diversity, allyship and discrimination due to gender, ethnicity, sexuality, neurodivergence, disability, religion or other difference from the perceived norm. The internet and social media ensure that the opportunity to effect change is open to everyone. Awarding Katy, will help highlight these vital areas for change in construction.

Sonia Murton

Founded in 2017 by Sonia Murton, Westbury FM has grown to employ 78 staff with steady growth in revenues to £9.3m FY23/24. Sonia was recognised among the Top 100 Women in Construction and E2E Top 100 female entrepreneurs after her drive to adapt during COVID-19. When COVID-19 hit, 80% of their business was in retail and hospitality. During lockdown, Sonia took action, quickly diversifying, saving her 30+ staff whilst ensuring critical facilities continued functioning. Sonia's commitment to gender equality is evident, with women making up 75% of senior management and office staff. Employee feedback highlights a supportive environment focusing on professional development, mental health support, and wellbeing initiatives. Clients praise the personalised, responsive service. Sonia's dedication to her core values, ability to foster a thriving, inclusive workplace, and active contribution to the community have positioned Westbury FM as a leader in its industry.

Winvic Construction
Heather Ratcliffe

Heather’s gone from part-time Purchase Ledger Assistant in a department of 4 to becoming Winvic’s Director of Finance, leading 20. She joined the Winvic Construction Board in 2021 and is proud to be a female industry role model. She leads by example and believes in working hard, asking for what you want and not being afraid of making mistakes. Heather’s honest approach give her team confidence to be open and collaborative. She has devised and implemented multiple initiatives with stakeholder benefits from an IR35 compliant process for freelance and agency workers to providing 2 day finance department placements to Year In Industry students. Heather’s teaching experience taught her about leadership, diversification and meeting people’s needs through different approaches to communication; paired with her open-door policy she’s a go-to for advice and support across the business. She advocates a ‘have a go’ and ‘get involved’ attitude and supports people to develop.

Socotec UK
Alessia Sgattoni

I am an experienced Chartered Principal Geologist, leading teams and managing commercial risks, applying geological and geotechnical techniques to deliver complex projects for clients across the globe. I consciously set out to be exceptional. My discipline coupled with an unwavering determination and resilience set me apart in any setting. Whether it is my ability to find unconventional solutions to complex problems or my aptitude for inspiring those around me, my presence leaves an indelible mark. I bring others with me through ongoing mentoring, coaching and development – this is key to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in engineering. My engineering knowledge coupled with my ability to build trusted and positive client relationships allow me to understand and engage with customer goals. My inspirational leadership of multi-disciplinary teams encourages them to go above and beyond to delight our clients. As one of my clients says, he feels “joyful” working with me.

Multiplex Construction Europe
Elinor Strapp

Elinor embodies inspirational leadership in construction, showcasing dedication, innovation, and inclusivity within Multiplex and industry-wide. Her efforts resonate through the workforce and community, leaving a lasting impression on everyone she works with. As Co-Chair of Multiplex's Women's Network and a leader in various industry organisations, she champions diversity and talent, fostering a culture of empowerment. Breaking barriers as the first female project lead at Multiplex, Elinor's initiatives, like 'The Good, The Bad and the Built Environment' podcast, cultivate learning and collaboration. Colleagues praise her leadership style, positivity, and commitment to excellence. Elinor's relentless pursuit of improvement and education, coupled with her infectious enthusiasm, drives positive change and innovation. Her impact extends beyond projects, enriching communities and inspiring individuals, making her a truly deserving recipient of the Inspirational Contractor Award.