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Culture Change Hub UK Construction Week


Join us for the Culture Change Hub at UK Construction Week at the NEC on October 4th.

These panels bring together a variety of expert speakers from Construction and other industries designed to inspire attendees to take actionable steps to implement within their own organisations and improve Inclusion across the Construction Industry.

10:30 -11:15 EDI for All: Making Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Everyone’s Responsibility
Creating an Inclusive Culture that Celebrates Diversity and Empowers All Employees to Effect Change.
11:30 – 12:15The Future of Construction: Empowering Young People to Drive Change
Addressing the Skills Gap and Creating Opportunities for the Next Generation of Construction Leaders
12:30 – 13:15Sustainable Culture: Embedding Sustainability into the DNA of your Business
Strategies and Best Practices for Incorporating Sustainable Practices into your Company Culture
13:30 – 14:15Leading the Way: The Impact of Leadership on Culture
Exploring the Role of Leaders in Shaping Organisational Culture and Driving Change
14:30 – 15:15Breaking the Stigma: Prioritizing Mental Health in the Construction Industry
Creating a Supportive and Inclusive Culture that Prioritizes Mental Health and Well-being
15:30 – 16:10Building a Diverse and Inclusive Culture: Supporting LGBTQ+ Employees in the Workplace
Best Practices for Fostering a Safe and Supportive Environment for LGBTQ+ Employees in the Construction Industry

Speaker Information

Laura Bradley – Flannery Plant Hire – 10:30 – 11:15

Laura has been working in marketing for over thirteen years. In her role with Flannery Plant Hire, Laura has been liaising closely with suppliers and clients to ensure that, through collaboration, the stereotypical way people view the construction industry is being changed. Through creating safe spaces for honest conversations, Laura is aiming to show that this is an industry that people from any background can be welcomed into. She was heavily involved in the planning and execution of the event, ‘Time for Change: Action Not Words!’ and hopes to see more events like this moving forward.

Gina Connell – B P Collins/Ambitious about Autism ambassador – 10:30 – 11:15

Gina Connell is the Chief Marketing Officer at law firm B P Collins LLP and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She originally studied building construction and worked in the sector for a number of years on numerous projects including The British Library, The Motor Show, various retail stores and art galleries. Gina is an ambassador for Ambitious about Autism, a charity that removes barriers, enables employers to access a uniquely talented employees and supports Autistic young people into work. They provide training, resources and ongoing mentorship to enable success for both businesses and employees.

Josie Cadwallader-Hughes – Thakeham Homes – 12:30 -13:15  

As Sustainability Director at Thakeham Group, Josie is responsible for keeping Thakeham at the leading edge, building partnerships with distinguished organisations with a long history of championing change, and advising on a number of cross-industry programmes enabling zero carbon placemaking.

Chris Matthew – Flannery Plant Hire – 12:30 – 13:15

Chris has worked in asset management across banking, aviation and the construction sector for 15 years. More recently, he focuses on driving initiatives that deliver efficiencies on construction sites through the adoption of technologies including 3DMC, Stage 3-4 Machine Learning and Machine Productivity Data Analytics.

Chris leads the CPA, The Greater London Authority (covering NRMM) & the Supply Chain Sustainability School through the industry’s transition to lower carbon solutions in construction plant and continues to support both Leicester University and Kings College London as a guest lecturer covering a variety of topics connected to UK Construction and machinery utilisation.

Claire Brown – University of Manchester – 12:30 – 13:15

My PhD research work focuses on addressing issues around heating and cooling demand in social housing in the UK. I am looking at how new-build social housing could be a potential way to reduce demand on the power grid through better design and exploring further opportunities self-generation. Exploring how commercially viable solutions might exist to allow social housing to be built with high energy performance built-in. I have previously worked in the construction industry as a Sustainability Manager, the public sector as an Energy manager and as a Senior Consultant.

Ele George – Elevate – 12:30 – 13:15

Ele George is an Engineer with a passion for all things innovative. As a long-time ‘MMC’ evangelist and award-winning sustainability leader, Ele advocates that holistic ‘systems-thinking’ based approaches to design, development, manufacturing and construction are the answer. After two decades of experience specialising in sustainable construction, and in the belief that we need to build in a better way, Ele founded built environment consultancy, Elevate, in 2021. Elevate aims to tackle challenges facing the sector including poor productivity, lack of technological adoption, skills shortage, and the climate emergency. Her current clients allow her to work with a wide range of stakeholders to develop sustainable innovative solutions.

Andrew Gilder, Director, KPMG – 13:30 – 14:15

Andrew is a Director of KPMG’s Consulting practice. Over the past thirty years he has helped leaders to deliver transformational change in their organisations across the world. He holds a master’s in mechanical engineering from Imperial College, London. Andrew specialises in supporting businesses focused on creating and maintaining the Built Environment. He openly identifies as Neurodiverse.

Rupert Perkins, Managing Director, John Perkins Construction – 13:30 – 14:15

Rupert Perkins is the Managing Director of John Perkins Construction, an award-winning construction company based in Bristol and Newport. The business was named Building Contractor of the Year: England (Turnover Under £15m) at the 2020 Construction Awards of Excellence.

Throughout his career, Rupert has enjoyed contributing wholeheartedly to debate and decision-making, both within the construction industry and in the wider economy. He has held board-level positions for the Considerate Constructors Scheme, National Federation of Builders, South West Builders Federation, and Building Safety Group. He is also part of CITB’s (Construction Industry Training Board) Industry Funding Committee.

Clare Friel, Managing Director, Friel – Construction Anglia – 14:30 – 15:15

Clare started her career in construction back in 2012 when she worked in construction recruitment.  She loved the construction industry but recruitment was not for her.  She secured a job working as the Business Development Manager for a civil engineering company, and then went on to start her own construction business development consultancy.  Since then she has gone on to establish news sharing platform Construction Anglia and Friel a specialist marketing agency.  In 2022 she won the NFB Unsung Hero Award and was listed in the Top 100 most Influential women in construction she is also an NFB Ambassador.

Sarah Meek, Managing Director, Mates in Mind – 14:30 – 15:15

Sarah is MD at the award-winning industry charity Mates in Mind that works with any size business to nurture, champion and introduce a culture of positive, proactive and preventative mental wellbeing focussing on construction, transport & logistics and related industries. Key to the success is breaking the silence and stigma that can surround mental health in the workplace whilst also campaigning for industry change and supporting apprentices in their future careers.

Prior to Mates in Mind, she was Director of Operations at both Relate and The Poppy Factory, a military charity. Sarah also brings 25 years’ experience working in the NHS as a physiotherapist and as an executive director

Kemal Ibrahim – Flannery Plant Hire – 15:30 -16:10

Kemal has been in event planning and management for over 15 years. Whilst this is his first year in the construction industry, Kemal has already made waves in the organisation of Flannery’s growing events needs and has solidified his position as the company’s face of events & hospitality.

In addition to his role as Events Manager and following his clear passion for inclusion and diversity across the sector, Kemal heads up the company’s EDI & Social value requirements, supporting School & College engagement days & careers fairs, Community Projects, Internal and External EDI drives, panel discussions and client-led educational workshops.