The 2020 Judges
Sustainable procurement and D&I specialist
Aaron is a sustainable procurement and D&I specialist who has gained valuable insights from working at the cutting-edge of the agenda in both the public and private sectors.
He is currently the lead on Balfour Beatty’s sustainable procurement strategy and its award-winning supplier diversity programme. Aaron is also the immediate past chair of Balfour Beatty’s BAME employee network and was responsible for developing Balfour Beatty’s £1bn spending commitment to SMEs, which was recognised by the then prime minister, he also led Balfour Beatty to become the first company in the world to be assessed against the international standard for sustainable procurement (ISO20400). Aaron is a current and longstanding member of the CITB and CECA Fairness Inclusion and Respect Steering group and Chairs the WMCA Construction Skills Taskforce as well as sitting on the WMCA Skills Board.
He has held senior D&I roles with the London Development Agency (LDA) at Diversity Works for London, and with Advantage West Midlands at Birmingham Professional DiverCity where he worked with blue chip organisations to help them adopt good practice
Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging – Telegraph
Asif is Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging for The Telegraph. Delivering the strategic plan to drive a co-ordinated approach across the business to focus both investment and intent on the broader inclusion agenda. He is a Multi-Award Winning Diversity and Inclusion expert with a proven track record in achieving operational and strategic targets, managing quality, performance, risk and change through promoting equal opportunities and diverse cultures.
He is a passionate and inspirational leader with the ability to empower individuals and create a truly inclusive environment for all. Asif is key in implementing D&I activities and programmes as well as connecting with stakeholders at all levels to build strong and influential relationships with business leaders and influencers. Asif acts as a role model, providing governance across the business on D&I and cultural change and is committed to creating a strong sense of belonging for all.
Asif has received a number of accolades for his professional and volunteering work that include the Mosaic (Prince’s Trust) Award for mentoring and NAMP Multi Faith Award, Police Officer of the Year Award, European, the Civil Servant of the Year Award, the prestigious Asian Professional Award and the highly commended Head of Diversity Award at the European Diversity Awards. Asif was honoured last year in the Queen’s birthday honours list with an MBE for his services to Policing and the Communities and is a member of the HR Guild and is a Freeman of the City.
He is currently the Chair of the London Hate Crime Board, an Ambassador for Remembering Srebrenica, Member of the APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) on Hate Crime, Special Advisory to the charity Penny Appeal, a trainer for the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and a Special Sergeant with the City of London Police.
Diversity & Inclusion Director, RICS
Barry Cullen has over 20 years’ experience in inspiring, educating and supporting a range of people from a variety of backgrounds into work and careers. Responsible for developing unique programmes and projects that have local and international appeal, Barry’s expertise covers skills, employability, apprenticeships, and helping firms to reap the tangible benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce.Barry is leading the delivery of RICS’s ‘Diversity & Inclusion’ strategy, which aims to build a 21st century professional body through equality, diversity and inclusion.
EDI Manager, Highways England
Belinda Blake is one of the EDI managers within Highways England.
She has specific responsibility to support both the business and supply chain in meeting Highways England’s ambition to embed equality, diversity and inclusion in all they do.
Belinda has worked in the equality field for over fifteen years, acting as a critical friend to the private, public and voluntary sectors to improve equality of access, experience and opportunity for employees, customers and communities.
Mayor’s Construction Academy (MCA)
Beth Penwarden leads on stakeholder engagement for the Mayor’s Construction Academy (MCA), a Mayor of London initiative bringing together industry, training providers and other stakeholders to tackle enduring skills challenges facing the sector.
Beth’s work focuses on convening stakeholders with shared challenges and goals. Cultivating diversity of leadership, and nurturing a culture that enables that, is the golden thread running through every conversation. For this reason, Beth spends most of her time introducing people that may not naturally collaborate and exploring ways of moving forward together.
Before joining the GLA, Beth led programmes to create 2000 apprenticeships, deliver health and social care commissioning integration and facilitating parenting programmes for vulnerable families.
Head of Professional Standards, RIBA
Carys’ work for the RIBA involves professional standards, equality, diversity & inclusion, professional conduct issues, dispute resolution, specialist accreditation and ethics in architectural practice.
Carys has written publications in collaboration with the UN Global Compact titled ‘The UN Sustainable Development Goals in Practice’ and ‘Ethics in Architectural Practice’.
Carys also works to raise the standards of professional conduct expected of RIBA members and the architecture profession more broadly and has worked closely with other professional bodies and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority to tackle modern slavery in construction.
FCIOB C.Build E FCABE MInstLM MICOMOS FHEA
Chris is a Chartered Building Engineer, Fellow of The Chartered Association of Building Engineers, Fellow of Chartered Association of Building and Fellow of The Higher Education Academy. Following a successful career in the public sector as a Building Surveyor Chris moved into education heading up the Postgraduate Building Surveying course at Nottingham Trent University.
Following an accident in 2006, where he suffered life-changing injuries, Chris became acutely aware that much of the Built environment remains inaccessible for people with disabilities, which has driven much of his current research.
Before establishing ConstructUK in 2003, Darren was a Director of The Building Centre in London, where he worked for 20 years, gaining a wealth of experience in the promotion of the latest building product innovations to the specification and contract sectors.
ConstructUK provides a one-stop-shop for information and databases relating to the sales and marketing of construction products and services.
Senior Partner, PRM Diversity Consultants
Harish has specialised as a diversity consultant, trainer and researcher since 2001.
His expertise is grounded in some 20 years of prior experience working in large corporations such as Exxon Mobil and Deloitte.
Harish has developed leading edge initiatives in areas such as Unconscious Bias, Diversity Strategy, Inclusive Recruitment, Diversity Benchmarking and Supplier Diversity.
Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Homes England
Julie Musesoglu is Homes England’s Diversity and Inclusion Manager. She began her diversity and inclusion journey in 2013, setting up Build Together; Homes England’s LGBT+ network.
She has since supported the creation of other networks at Homes England, as well a co-founding LGBT+ Property Professionals; a Manchester based network aimed at advancing LGBT+ inclusion in the property sector.
She is a committee member of Greater Manchester’s Building Equality, and a member of Freehold and HouseProud.
As part of her current role as Homes England’s Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Julie is exploring how Homes England can help to further embed equality, diversity and inclusion, both within the Built Environment and through the homes they deliver.
External relations lead, AFBE (UK)
Mara is the AFBE (UK) external relations lead and a member of the England Executive board.
She is a consultant with international experience (USA, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, SA) and over 10 years of professional experience.
She is a qualified Systems Engineer who has managed and implemented complex projects in energy and transport, from feasibility to completion.
She brings a wealth of experience of operation monitoring and due diligence advisory across sustainable development, renewable energy and transport.
Mara is an active and contributing Member of the Institution of Engineering Technology and plays an active role in, Intelligent Transport Systems UK and AFBE (UK) activities.
Chief Executive, Housing Diversity network
Raj has led organisations and consultancies in UK, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
He has served on several housing association, school governing, and NGO boards. He was the founding Chair of Ashram Housing Association in Birmingham and has worked in equality and diversity for more than a quarter of a century.
He brings a wealth of experience and expertise in EDI and in leadership. He reckons ‘Constructing and advocating active equality, diversity and inclusion are the right and best ways for organisations and communities.’ HDN is now offering specific E&D accreditation and training for construction, repairs and improvement organisations
Director, Constructing Rainbows
Sharon Slinger is the Director of Constructing Rainbows and works with organisations to improve their business through implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies.
With a background in quantity surveying, Sharon has nearly 20 years’ experience of working in the construction industry for main contractors.
She is a member of the Construction Industry Council Diversity and Inclusion panel, and the RICS Women of the Future Network.
Sharon also co-founded STEER Support & Mentoring CIC, a social enterprise which provide industry mentors for built environment students.
Sharon has won a number of awards for her work in diversity and inclusion.