Leading female construction figure lands lifetime achievement award

Julie White with Daniel Piggott, MD of Serno

A leading Midlands figure in construction has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award.

Julie White – the Managing Director of specialist concrete drilling, sawing and controlled demolition company D-Drill – picked up the honour at The Builders’ Conference Live Awards.

The Builders’ Conference is the construction industry’s trade body that provides up to the minute statistics and potential contract leads to companies across the UK.

Julie, a former UK Businesswoman of the Year, was handed the award by broadcaster and host Mike Shaft during a ceremony at The Savoy in London.

In announcing Julie as the winner, he said: “This award goes to someone who works tirelessly to improve the image of the construction sector and who is a shining example of how sharing best practice and knowledge can benefit everyone.

“With an absolute passion for what the sector should be doing to encourage more young people to consider construction as a career, she is committed to delivering the very highest standards of health and safety though a skilled workforce.

“Recognised for being an innovator and pushing for efficiency through technology her enthusiasm to drive positive change is evidenced by her company’s successful training and apprenticeship scheme.

“We’re delighted to celebrate the achievements of Julie White, Managing Director of D-Drill and we are sure she will continue to innovate and inspire future generations in the construction industry for many years to come.”

Julie White completed a management buy-out of D-Drill from her father a decade ago and has gone on to become a leading figure in the industry.

Under Julie’s watch, the company has added further divisions in 2D/3D concrete scanning, floor preparation, fire protection as well as inventing a new D-Kerb machine that can cut kerbs to 45 degrees in situ.

She is the first woman to be appointed to a professional body for the industry, having joined the board of directors for ‘The Drilling and Sawing Association’ and is also President of the World Association (IACDS) – the first woman ever to take up that post.

In 2018, Julie was selected to sit on the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) England Council having shown a huge commitment to training and apprenticeships,  spending five times the industry average on training and, currently, 45 per cent of the D-Drill workforce are either undergoing or have completed an apprenticeship with the company.

She is a previous chair of the National Specialist Contractors’ Council’s (NSCC) Training Committee and was part of the group that formed BuildUK and sits as a Director on the Main Strategy BuildUK board. She is also chair of the BuildUK CITB Steering Group.

Julie said: “This came as a complete surprise and I am delighted and humbled to have been honoured in this way.

“Since taking over D-Drill ten years ago, I have focused on diversifying the business but also in ensuring that we contribute to the industry as a whole in the UK and globally.

“I have been keen to speak up on serious issues in our industry but also to really sell what we do in the hope that the next generation see what a fantastic career choice this is.

“I’ve enjoyed being able to shout about the construction industry in the national media because I believe we work in an amazing field that needs to be recognised and celebrated.

“Despite this being a lifetime achievement award, there’s still plenty of life in me and I’ve got no plans to retire just yet!”