Construction campaigners recognised in New Year’s Honours

2 January 2019 | By CM staff

Buckingham Palace (Image: Dreamstime - Songquan Deng)

Two prominent construction industry campaigners were among those to have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.

Bola Abisogun, founder and chief executive of project manager Urbanis, has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to diversity and young people in the construction industry.

Abisogun is a key part of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)’s diversity special interest group and has been a champion of diversity in the industry and its associated professions for many years. He has been instrumental in setting up a number of networks to champion BAME representation and seek opportunities, both in the UK and in the USA, for young people to gain industry insight and experience.

Meanwhile, Chris Harrop, the group marketing and sustainability director at Marshall’s and a director at the Ethical Trading Initiative, has also been awarded an OBE.

Harrop was a contributor to the CIOB’s 2018 report into construction and modern slavery. He provided valuable insight into how Marshall’s tackles exploitation in the UK and internationally and how the Modern Slavery Act impacts on business.

Chris Blythe, the CIOB’s CEO, said: “I congratulate Bola for his diversity work. Promoting equality of opportunity within construction is incredibly important and he has done some great work.”

Chris Soffe, the CIOB’s president added: “The honour is a splendid achievement and a testament to Bola’s commitment and dedication and very well deserved.”

And commenting on Harrop’s award, Blythe said: “I am delighted that Chris has received this award and particularly delighted that his work on such an important issue is being recognised. This is an area where he has shown real leadership and made an important contribution to the construction industry.”

More information about Chris Harrop’s work can be found on the Marshall’s web site.

Among other construction industry figures to feature in the New Year’s Honours list were John Wood, chairman of Tolent Construction, who was awarded a CBE for services to the building and civil engineering industry.

Dr Jennifer Schooling, director of the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction at the University of Cambridge, received an OBE for services to engineering and digital construction.

Stefanie Stead, regional chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Construction Industry Council and principal of Stead & Co, also received an OBE for services to architecture and the construction industry.

Peter Bennett, the managing director of PASMA, the not-for-profit organisation representing the international mobile access tower industry, was awarded an OBE for his services to business in the access and work at height sector.


Its a tremendous achievement for these prominent construction industry campaigners to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours list and huge congratulations to all.

Julia Allen, 5 February 2019

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