M621 junctions 1-7 scheme reaps excellence award for inspirational females


13 Oct 2023

Award recognition for female led team on major investment project in Leeds

M621 junctions 1-7 scheme reaps excellence award for inspirational females – scheme’s second industry accolade in just a few days

They’re leading a multi-million motorway improvement scheme and paving the way ahead for generations of women and girls to become future engineers. And now the female-led £49.8m M621 junction 1-7 project has achieved a CN and NCE Inspiring Women in Construction and Engineering Award for Excellence in Leadership.

The project team was named winner at a ceremony at the Leonardo Royal in London. 

Eight ladies in evening dress accepting an award

Keltbray’s Major Projects Director Louise Pavitt, one of the women at the helm of the National Highways-led upgrade, said: “It's an honour to have won and I'm so proud of the team.”

Louise, and National Highways’ Programme Manager, Tsuwun Bevan, are both ultimately responsible for the scheme with National Highways Project Manager Sal Hopkinson and Keltbray Senior Project Manager Nicola Hodges both senior leaders. Around 65 per cent of the motorway upgrade’s leadership being female.

Tsuwun said: “This is testament to the brilliant female professionals involved in our partnership, driving this important project forward. We are so proud of the women working with us.”

Within the team, there is female leadership in different sectors such as safety, quality, information management, commercial and facilities management.  

This award comes just days after the M621 achieved ‘highly commended’ at the CECA Yorkshire and Humber Awards for ‘Going the Extra Mile’ for supporting South Leeds communities.

Behind the project is a dedication towards developing the next generation of talent by upskilling women on the M621 project, enabling them to take on roles including promotion of project management, quantity surveying, document control and administration staff.

Louise added: “We have a core of apprentices, including three young women studying for qualifications in engineering and commercial management.  One success has been the appointment of one of the site cleaning staff as an apprentice, who now works as our document controller.”

The CN and NCE Inspiring Women in Construction & Engineering Awards recognise the individuals and teams making outstanding contributions to gender diversity within their industry. They recognise individuals, teams, and companies and initiatives that have helped contribute to making a construction or engineering firm a great place to work.

M621 Improvements - why are we doing this work?

During peak times traffic is very congested on the M621 between junctions 1 and 7, making people’s journeys unreliable and leading to shunts and slow-speed collisions between vehicles.  Our scheme will ease congestion at key locations, providing a better, safer, experience for motorists and more reliable journeys. This is great news for the local and regional economy as our scheme will support economic growth aspirations – helping people and businesses access Leeds city centre and the surrounding area. 

You can learn more about our work on the M621 here