New CIOB president says collaboration her priority for year in office 

Sandi Rhys Jones
Sandi Rhys Jones OBE, CIOB’s new president (Image: Women in Property)

CIOB’s new president, Sandi Rhys Jones OBE FCIOB, has called for greater collaboration in the construction industry during her official appointment at the CIOB’s Members’ Forum event in Liverpool on 26 June.

Rhys Jones has chosen collaboration as the focus theme for her presidential year. She said she wants to help improve joined-up thinking in a sector known as being combative, adversarial and prone to working in silos.

Rhys Jones is the 120th president of the institute, taking over from Dr Michael Yam. She began her career in construction, property and engineering as a journalist, working for a variety of technical organisations before forming her management and marketing business.

In 1998, she was awarded an OBE for her work in promoting women in construction.

Speaking at her appointment at the CIOB’s Members’ Forum, Rhys Jones spoke about construction’s vital role in addressing today’s challenges, from tackling climate change to providing affordable housing and quality jobs.

She said: “We need to accept the fact that the world can’t achieve net zero without us in the built environment sector. So we’ve got to harness all the skill and ingenuity our sector possesses – plus that which we can learn from other sectors – to change the way we work.  

Modern professionalism

Rhys Jones continued: “Our strategy at CIOB is to drive forward the concept of modern professionalism, which is infused with the values of competence, respect, inclusivity and confidence. However, if we want to be true modern professionals, how we work needs to be more collaborative. 

“Our sector has great examples of collaboration but only in pockets. What we need now is to scale up that collaborative mindset and I look forward to using the platform the CIOB presidency will give me to collaborate with people within our sector and beyond over the next 12 months to help drive real change.”

Commenting on Rhys Jones’s appointment, Caroline Gumble, CIOB chief executive, said: “I am so pleased to welcome Sandi as our new president. Sandi has an impressive breadth and depth of knowledge of the industry and her understanding of its place in society, which is a vital perspective for a construction professional.

“I know she will make a valuable contribution in our drive to tackle some of the key challenges in this important industry and will offer real leadership on the issues for CIOB and the wider industry.”

Watch out for our exclusive interview with Sandi Rhys Jones next week.

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  1. Many congratulations wishing you all the best for the year ahead. It is noted that Collaboration is your theme which follows up Michael Foy’s year where he focussed on the client and has produced the client guide. We need to get client and Government recognition of the existence of the CIOB and what we can bring to the table. For all to long we get sided with the ‘Builder’ bad press and with Grenfell still haunting the industry and no outcome yet, getting a process where CIOB members and the Institute stand with the other Professional Institutions and not below would be a great achievement

  2. Congratulations Sandi. Very much welcome a focus on collaboration, for too long our industry has seen profits extracted from the supply chain, leading to under priced contracts and challenges around quality and timeliness. Building collaborative expert teams will bring benefits to clients, wider society and construction professionals – enjoy your year.

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