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Industry welcomes gender diversity on revamped CITB board

CITB has appointed a 21-member industry council to advise its new board on challenges facing the construction industry.

CITB chairman James Wates will also chair the council, which will help to shape the direction of the CITB.

It includes representatives from Bam Construct, Bam Nuttall, Bouygues, Bowmer & Kirkland, and Kier, in addition to Barratt Developments, union Unite, and a number of specialists and SMEs (see full list below).

Skills minister Nick Boles announced the appointment of five women and three men to the CITB’s new board of trustees on 13 January.

Industry stakeholders have welcomed the appointments, which will increase the proportion of women on the CITB board from less than 5 per cent to more than 60 per cent.

Bouygues UK chief executive and chairman Madani Sow told Construction News it was “extremely encouraging” that five women had been appointed to the board.

“Who better than women in senior positions, at organisations like the CITB, acting as role models, leading the way and encouraging more women into our sector?,” he said.

Construction News revealed last November that 50 per cent of the the new board members were expected to be women after an “edict from Number 10” called for half of appointments to all new public sector boards to be female.

Seddon training and education executive Roy Cavanagh said the CITB had made a “massive statement” that would encourage schools and colleges to take a different view of the industry.

“[Educators] should look at this and think, although [construction] is a male-dominated industry on the face of it, with five women on the CITB board, it’s sending out a message that this is an industry that welcomes and wants more females.”

KPMG head of infrastructure, building and construction Richard Threlfall added: “The challenge is now thrown to the member organisations to follow suit. We won’t see any change in the industry until the entire culture changes.”

The new board has also been “streamlined” and reduced in size from 21 members to just eight. Trade associations that previously dominated the board are no longer directly represented.

Civil Engineering Contractors Association chief executive Alasdair Reisner said this was a “more sensible” way to govern the CITB.

“It reflects the way a proper business would be run, not an unwieldy board, but one that can make things happen and get things done. I’m ill at ease about saying it’s a much better system… the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.”

However, Construction Industry Council chief executive Graham Watts said he was concerned the new board could be too small.

“I think they’ve gone from one extreme to another. If two or three people don’t turn up, you’ve got a board of four people. How is that an effective board of governance?

“On the previous board there was a wider group of people [from the construction industry] that brought a certain degree of independence and overview to it, and I feel somewhere along the line that baby has been thrown out with the bathwater.”


CITB Council

Main contractors

  • Bam Nuttall head of training Kevin Bennett
  • Bam Construct head of HR strategy Jo Pottinger
  • Bouygues UK operations manager Mark Wusthoff
  • Bowmer and Kirkland design and sustainability manager Rebecca Hartshorn
  • Kier head of new entrants and funding Ian Dickerson


  • Barratt Developments HR director Rob Tansley


  • Benbow Group director John Bailey
  • Bromley Demolition managing director Gary Bishop
  • DCP Group finance director Carol Bailey
  • Hall Construction managing director Philip Hall
  • Jones Bros managing director Huw Jones
  • Knox &Wells development executive Gareth Davies
  • Stokey Plant Hire chairman Bob Collins


  • JLO Innovation director John Lorimer


  • Unite national officer for building, construction and allied trades John Allott

Youth engagement

  • Class of Your Own managing director Alison Watson

Higher education

  • University of Dundee emeritus professor of engineering management Malcolm Horner


  • National Trust consultancy manager Sarah Bowers


  • Scottish Construction Skills Group chairman Ed Monaghan (Mactaggart & Mickel)
  • Welsh Construction Skills Group chairman Robert Williams (WRW)
  • English Construction Skills Group chairman tbc


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