My first observations are ‘wow’, what an amazing organisation the CIOB is; the values and ethics the institute upholds, the rigour of the professional membership process, the commitment of office bearers, Trustees and active hub Members across the globe. This is an organisation with real purpose that does affect and will continue to affect the lives of every person who lives and works within a built environment.
I regard this role as a privilege. In an organisation with such a long and proud history, I accept the CIOB is bigger than one person, or a few people, it’s a live, dynamic global community. As a caretaker, a facilitator, a leader, I see it as my duty to do the right things for the organisation in line with our Royal Charter.
After a successful career in the engineering sector, I am energised about my new role and about what the future holds. In “interesting” and unsettling political times, an organisation such as the CIOB needs to hold to its core values and both support and stand up for members perhaps more visibly than ever before. This is a challenge that I am certainly up for. But be warned, I am equally prepared to ‘call out’ unacceptable practices and behaviours that have no place in our sector or society.
I acknowledge that I have a lot to learn about the roles that make up the CIOB membership, but I do have some insight into this industry. I grew up as the daughter of a brickie and have spent plenty of time trundling from one site to another in a builder’s van. There was no visible health and safety in those days! I didn’t even have to wear a seat belt in the van; how times have changed for the better. I’ve seen at first hand the personal impacts on families in an industry going through good times and bad.
As many of you will know, I attended some of the Members’ Forum held in Edinburgh in June. I heard a great deal about the ongoing campaigns to eradicate modern slavery in the industry and to put quality back at the heart of everything our industry does - I’m fully behind this work that the CIOB is taking forward. In addition, Charles Egbu has chosen to put mental health and wellbeing at the top of our agenda as his theme for his year as President. I’m delighted to support such an important and forward-looking agenda.
I spent some time listening to your Membership representatives from across the globe and was extremely impressed by their passion to help get behind our new Corporate Plan and help us grow our CIOB community. I am alive to the fact I need to ensure we are presenting the CIOB as ‘the’ relevant professional body for the next generation to commit too, as without new talent we will not be here in another 185 years and that would be ‘our’ failure, not theirs.
In terms of some of my personal values, particularly with respect to those that shape my professional approach, I believe that respect, trust, honesty and integrity are critical. I’ve already seen these reflected back to me by many of the members and staff I have met. At Members’ Forum it became clear how much the CIOB is valued and respected and I can attest that a few people took the opportunity to be completely honest with me on what they think the organisation needs to be doing – I respect that honesty and the trust that’s already been shown to me.
There will be lots of opportunities over the coming weeks for me to meet members (and potential members), our friends and contacts in other organisations and our other partners - in government, in industry - to communicate the CIOB’s plans.
CIOB, like many other professional bodies, will have no choice but to collaborate more with other organisations on the really important issues. We will collectively deliver more; individual egos have to be put to one side for furtherance of achieving the right outcomes in line with our objectives.
I call on all CIOB members who aren’t actively using our resources or supporting our campaigns to re-engage; there are many ways to get involved. This is your professional body - I want you to feel real pride in being a Member of the CIOB and in what the CIOB delivers:
•Join our campaign to tackle modern slavery in the industry – have a look at our Construction and the Modern Slavery Act report and the route map to fair business it outlines
•Support the work of our Construction Quality Commission – download our report Improving Quality in the Built Environment and look at the key principles for embedding quality
•Use your experience and expertise to directly inform what we do – sign up for one of our regional Hub Committees, join our Business Development Board or nominate yourself when we hold our next round of Trustee elections
I’m immensely looking forward to getting stuck in and enabling the organisation to continue to do what it does well and empower it to respond even better to what members want, and what society deserves.