Willmott Dixon’s chief people officer Rick Lee has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List 2021 for services to business and equality.
Lee has been at the forefront of Willmott Dixon’s efforts to make the business more diverse and inclusive, with an aspiration to achieve gender parity across the business by 2030.
Lee was among a number of construction professionals to be recognised in the List, including Joanna Da Silva, a director of Arup Group, who was made a dame for services to engineering and international sustainable development.
Architect Sir David Chipperfield was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to architecture, while Stephanie MacDonald and Professor Thomas Emerson, co-founders of 6a Architects, were awarded OBEs for services to architecture.
Kevin Byrne, managing director of Seymour Civil Engineering in Stockton-on-Tees in County Durham received an MBE for services to business and to skills, and Robert Rankin, project manager at Watt’s Improved Safety Headguards in Glasgow was awarded an MBE for services to civil engineering and to innovation.
At Network Rail, Martin Frobisher, group safety and engineering director, technical authority, received an OBE for services to the NHS and railway workers during the covid-19 pandemic and voluntary service through the Army Reserves. Meanwhile Loraine Martins, director of diversity and inclusion, was awarded an OBE for services to diversity and inclusion, and Shane Andrews, project operations interface specialist, received an MBE for services to diversity and inclusion.
David Thompson received an MBE for services to architecture and to the community in Norfolk, while Samuel Webb was also awarded an MBE for services to architecture in Cambridgeshire.
Speaking about his OBE, Lee said: “I am very honoured to receive an OBE, which I feel is also a reflection on how Willmott Dixon and the wider construction industry is making huge progress to becoming a more diverse and inclusive place to work.
“It’s a real privilege for me to work with a fantastic team at Willmott Dixon and the Women’s Business Council to drive this issue forward and develop ways we can take meaningful actions to ensure more women enjoy a rewarding career in construction. It’s already creating a positive change at Willmott Dixon, highlighted by the fact that 40% of our trainee managers are now women, while the percentage of women in our workforce is up to 27.4%, compared with an industry average of 13.3%.”
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