Meet the Women in Construction Global Advisory Board

August 21, 2019 | Daisy Bernard

Introducing the industry leaders pushing the limits for women in construction

Our Advisory Board is made up of accomplished professionals across the globe who are at the forefront of construction. Their expertise and job roles vary, but they are all united by a deep passion for construction's impact on society and the important role that diversity plays in this.

We work together closely to provide the most eye-opening, educational and inspirational content available – dedicated to help empower our rapidly growing community with the knowledge and skills needed to flourish in the sector.

Edward McAlpine, Chairman at Sir Robert McAlpine

In 2018, Edward McAlpine was a delegate at the first ever Women in Construction Summit. Humbled by the experience of being a minority in a room full of women, he decided to come back the next year as a keynote speaker and headline sponsor of the event. 

As Chairman of Sir Robert McAlpine and a fifth generation descendant of the company’s eponymous founder, Ed has construction running through his DNA. Ed qualified in construction management and engineering from the University of Reading, and in the 20 years since has gained invaluable experience working in a variety of roles on site and across the business.

Passionate about perpetuating the family values that have made the company a success for the past 150 years, Ed has long been a fervent advocate of diversity and inclusion, and continues to galvanise the business to lead by example and inspire industry wide change.

Ed is a Trustee of the Construction Youth Trust, supporting its work to reach out to a diverse range of young people and, in particular, those groups who are under-represented in our industry or face barriers to working in construction. He has also been a member of the Executive Board of Sir Robert McAlpine since 2009, during which time the company has delivered many high-profile projects, including the Olympic Stadium and Bloomberg’s new European HQ in London.


Manon Bradley, Development Director at Major Projects Association

Manon is the Development Director of the Major Projects Association, a membership body for organisations delivering major projects and includes many large construction companies within its membership. As well as ensuring the day to day delivery of the Association, Manon has specific responsibility for the Gender Balance initiative which aims to support members to improve diversity.


Laura Aiken, Workface Planner at Betchel 

Laura is an engineer, yoga teacher, speaker and workplace diversity and inclusion champion. Her mission is to empower women to thrive in work and in life.

As Workface Planning Manager, Laura leads a team responsible for constraints management and sequencing of construction execution for Shell’s world-scale multi-billion dollar Pennsylvania Chemicals project. Laura joined Bechtel in 2011, and has worked across design engineering, construction, commissioning and start up, in the UK, USA and Australia.

Alongside her work for Bectel, Laura is the Global Chair of Women@Bechtel, Bechtel’s Business Resource Group for Women, and is passionate about inspiring the next generation of engineers, encouraging more women to stay and thrive in STEM, and exposing the inherent biases facing women in male-dominated industries.

Ceri Evans, Commercial Director UK & Europe at SNC-Lavalin Atkins 


Priscilla Chavez, Diversity & Inclusion Manager @ PCL Construction

As the manager of diversity and inclusion at PCL Construction, Priscilla oversees all aspects of government and labor relations, supplier diversity, and targeted workforce development. As a certified Master Compliance Administrator from Morgan State University, Priscilla is recognized as one of the industry’s leading compliance professional in Southern California. She’s passionate about discovering and creating unique ways to make a difference in the construction industry and in the community in which she lives and work. Recently, Priscilla was recognized as one of L.A’s Most Outstanding Women in Construction & Design by the Los Angeles Business Journal.


Cristina Lanz-Azcarate, London & SE Chair at National Association of Women in Construction

Director and co-founder of Atelier EURA, Cristina is an EDI advocate through practice and volunteering. Regional Chair for the National Association of Women in Construction and a Mentor at the pan-professional Fluid Mentoring since 2013, at the start of 2017, she also became a member of RIBA’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Group (and Mayor of London's Design Advocate Organisation), Architects For Change.

Throughout her eighteen years career in the UK Cristina, a Chartered Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), has seen the best projects emerge when the people sitting around the table, both at the office and on-site, reflected the diversity of the communities they were shaping and hence the desire to engage a wider audience with her work.

Cristina knows that in order to increase its levels of diversity, our industry as a whole, and each one of us as individuals, need to engage the general public and address their lack of awareness of what the built environment encompasses and how it affects their everyday lives. Furthermore, she believes we should learn to highlight the contributions of individuals and collectives, as other industries do and to promote its core values of collaboration, innovation, positive outcome, and sustainability in order to challenge perceptions.


Dr. David Hancock, Construction Director at Infrastructure and Projects Authority, Cabinet Office

Dr David Hancock leads the Government Construction Team and chairs the Government Construction Board for the Cabinet Office and the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA). David sits on the boards of: Buckingham Palace Refurbishment, British Antarctic Survey and the British Virgin Islands Recovery & Development Agency. Prior to joining IPA he was Head of Risk for Transport for London. Renowned internationally as a leading thinker and practitioner in the field of risk, he is the author of the bestselling book “Tame, Messy and Wicked Risk Leadership” in which he developed the concept of Risk Leadership.

He has worked with the public, private and voluntary sectors and has been the Director of risk and assurance for two London Mayors and Executive Director of Halcrow (now Jacobs) responsible for setting up their consultancy group. He was Head of Risk for the Terminal 5 Project at Heathrow and champions the case for rethinking project management as a social interaction rather than delivery solely through the application of process and policy.