Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Willmott Dixon celebrates female successes as part of diversity drive

Willmott Dixon is celebrating the successes of two of its local female employees from the East Midlands as part of its drive to promote opportunities and encourage more women to consider careers in the construction industry.

Michelle Cotterill has been promoted to the role of director and will sit on the board of directors for the Midlands region, while management trainee, Simone Codrington, has received two prestigious awards.

After starting her career in cinema management, Michelle swapped the flicks for bricks in 2006 when she joined the company as a HR Coordinator before progressing through the ranks to take up a number of roles involving account and framework management.  

One of Michelle’s key responsibilities in her new role is heading up the company’s involvement in the Adjuto funding scheme, a partnership that enables public sector organisations to seek funding for new developments.

Michelle also hosts a number of networking events throughout the Midlands, which bring women working in construction and property together to discuss the future of the industry. Most recently she hosted an event in Nottingham where representatives from a number of national and regional organisations attended to tackle key topics in the sector.

Michelle said:

“Willmott Dixon has given me a number of opportunities to progress my career, and to be promoted to the board of directors is fantastic.

“Working in the industry gives me a great deal of enjoyment. We work on a diverse range of projects and to see the impact they have on people’s lives once complete is very satisfying. As part of our women in construction events, we discuss how we can break down the barriers together and pave the way for talented women embarking on their careers

“The construction industry has huge opportunities outside of the traditional hands-on trades and we need people with a variety of skillsets to continue our success. It’s vital that we help people to understand this, and change the perception of the industry.”  

Michelle’s promotion comes hot on the heels of a double award-win for Simone, as she was named Young Achiever of the Year for 2018 at the Celebrating Construction Awards and Young Trainee of the Year at the G4C (Generation 4 Change) Awards.

She is currently leading Willmott Dixon’s Management Trainee Challenge in the Midlands, where she is helping to create a summer house for a charity in Leicester.

The company has committed to reaching a 50/50 gender split across the business by 2030. The Midlands region is currently working towards this target and already has a 50/50 split amongst its management trainees.   

Nick Gibb, deputy managing director of Willmott Dixon in the region, said:

“Michelle and Simone’s successes are the perfect example of the exceptional opportunities available in the construction industry.

“Increasing diversity in our workplace is one of our key objectives as we move forward. There is a well-documented skill shortage in the construction industry and we are encouraging women and people from all backgrounds to consider a career in the sector.

“The industry is more reliant than ever on young people taking up careers in construction. We’re totally committed to help change the image of this industry, and we hope the success of Michelle and Simone will inspire many others to consider similar careers.”

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