Sandi Rhys Jones has been recognised for her commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in construction
The University of Westminster has awarded an honorary doctorate to the president of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Sandi Rhys Jones. It recognises her work promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the construction industry.
Rhys Jones, who became CIOB president on 1 July, began her career in construction, property and engineering as a journalist. She then worked for a variety of technical organisations before creating her own management and marketing business.
In 2022, when the University of Westminster hosted and organised a meeting in London for a delegation of more than 50 tradeswomen from North America and Europe, Rhys Jones hosted them at a reception in the Houses of Parliament in her role as CIOB’s senior vice-president.
Dr Katalin Illes, associate head at the Westminster Business School, said: “Over the past 30 years Sandi has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the importance of improving diversity and equal opportunities in the construction industry and has probably done more to bring women into the industry than anybody else.”
Rhys Jones said: “I remember well, back in the mid-nineties, the excitement of discovering at the University of Westminster Business School a treasure trove of research data about diversity and inclusion in construction, particularly in relation to tradeswomen.
“The exchange of ideas, collaboration and friendship triggered then has continued, particularly with Professors Linda Clarke and Christine Wall whose historical knowledge, technical know-how and international spread makes their significant body of work very special.
“It means a great deal to me to be awarded Doctor of Letters by an institution sharing core values of building a welcoming, diverse and constructive environment.”
The University of Westminster also awarded honorary degrees to filmmaker Amma Asante and businessman and philanthropist Sir Kenneth Olisa at the 2023 summer graduation ceremony.