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CITB reveals new ‘streamlined’ eight-member board

Skills minister Nick Boles has appointed five women and three men to the CITB’s new eight-member board of trustees to “revolutionise” how the training body operates and promote increased diversity.

The organisation will also become the first non-departmental public body with more than 50 per cent female representation on its board, with the proportion rising from less than 5 per cent to more than 60 per cent.

In another break with tradition, Mr Boles has appointed two independent members to the board for the first time (see box).

Current chairman James Wates will remain in his role, while Carillion Training Services director Ray Wilson has also been reappointed to the board, having previously had a seat representing the UK Contractors Group.

However, five women including Redrow group HR director Karen Jones and former Taylor Wimpey director Maria Pilfold, have been newly appointed to the board (see full list below).

Construction News revealed last November that half the new appointments were expected to be women, following an edict for Number 10.

The proportion of women on the CITB board will now increase from less than 5 per cent to more than 60 per cent.

Former deputy chairman Judy Lowe was the only woman on the 21-member board until her departure in September 2014.

New CITB board of trustees


  • James Wates CBE, Wates Group chairman


  • Maureen Douglas, HR director, Forster Group
  • David Harris, managing director, WRW Construction
  • Karen Jones, group HR director, Redrow
  • Maria Pilfold, HR consultant and former director of Taylor Wimpey
  • Ray Wilson, director and general manager, Carillion Training Services


  • Diana Garnham, CEO, Science Council
  • Frances Wadsworth, principal and CEO, Croydon College

Mr Boles said: “I am particularly pleased to see greater diversity on the board and hope that it encourages more women to consider a career in construction.”

Last week, Construction News revealed 45 per cent of senior business leaders at the UK’s top contractors said they employed a “sufficient” number of women in the Construction News Barometer for Q4 2014.

The range of backgrounds now represented also marks a departure from the previous board, which was dominated by industry trade associations.

New board members have been appointed “to make swift decisions based on the industry’s needs” and they will also be supported by a CITB council, with members selected from across the built environment.

The CITB is still awaiting the outcome of its delayed triennial review by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, which began in July 2013 and was due to report in March 2014.

Mr Wates said: “The appointment of a diverse, smaller, industry-led board marks the next stage of a reform programme that will make us even more relevant and responsive to the needs and ambitions of the industry we serve.

“Our industry is facing challenging times and I am delighted that the secretary of state has appointed a board which fairly reflects our industry – both in terms of diversity and representation from all three UK nations.”

He added: “As an organisation, we have made increasing the number of women in the industry a priority and I am proud that CITB is the first non-departmental public body to have a board made up of over 50 per cent women.”

Board member biographies

James Wates

CITB chairman James Wates holds a number of positions within the construction industry, including as chairman of Wates Group, chairman of UKCG and chairman of the Building Research Establishment Trust.

Maureen Douglas

Forster Group HR director Maureen Douglas leads the firm’s development, skills and training and health and safety programmes.

As part of its strategy to address skills shortages, she established a Roofing Academy to attract talented individuals and upskill existing workers.

David Harris

WRW Construction managing director David Harris developed his career at regional and national contractors, including Pearce Construction and Cowlin/Balfour Beatty.

He is a member of the Wales Construction Sector Panel and the Construction Procurement Strategy Steering Group for the Welsh government.

Karen Jones

Redrow group HR director Karen Jones sits on the housebuilder’s executive board with specific responsibility for expanding and developing the workforce and advises the board on all people aspects with an emphasis on retention, succession planning and addressing skills shortages.

Maria Pilfold

HR consultant Maria Pilfold is former group HR director of Taylor Wimpey, where she worked with the Buckinghamshire University Technical College to establish its construction faculty with Taylor Wimpey as its key partner, and to promote apprenticeships.

She represented housebuilders at the Construction Industry Joint Council and was a member of the CBI’s Employment Policy Committee.

Ray Wilson

Carillion Training Services director and general manager Ray Wilson has experience in driving organisational change, business performance improvements and compliance in complex regulatory environments.

He is chair of the UKCG Training Committee, a member of the UKCG Apprenticeship Group and a Commissioner on the Commission on Apprenticeships, among other industry appointments.

Diana Garnham

The Science Council is a membership organisation for learned societies and professional bodies from across science and its applications and Diana Garnham has been chief executive since 2007. 

She chaired the Department for Business Innovation and Skills Science for Careers Expert Group in 2009-11 and was a founding member of the Big Bang Fair. 

She has a personal interest in working to enable young people to achieve their potential, particularly within the STEM environment.

Frances Wadsworth

Croydon College principal and chief executive Frances Wadsworth has experience of leading organisational change and quality improvement in complex organisations, effecting turnaround, achieving sustainability and restoring reputation.

Her career history includes teaching and managing in a number of schools and further education colleges across the UK.

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