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‘Secret Millionaire’ keynote speaker at Diversity Expo

6 Sep 11 Secret Millionaire and Philanthropreneur, Dawn Gibbins MBE, will be the keynote speaker at a conference for employers being held as part of the Construction Diversity Expo 2011 at The Guildhall in London on Monday 12 September.

CITB-ConstructionSkills has joined forces with Women and Manual Trades (WAMT) to deliver the Expo which aims to promote and celebrate the benefits of a diverse workforce in the construction industry.

Dawn will be one of several influential speakers at the conference, where employers will be able to take part in a range of workshops and find out about the benefits of having a diverse workforce and how to build on best practice and improve diversity in construction.

Best known for taking part in Channel 4’s undercover series ‘Secret Millionaire’, Dawn set up Flowcrete in 1982 and oversaw its growth to become a global market leader in commercial and industry flooring with 30 offices worldwide and 12 manufacturing sites across the globe.

Dawn, who has won the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year Award, been voted Most Influential Person in British Manufacturing and was the youngest industrialist to be invested with an MBE for Services to UK Industry, said:

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to share my experiences with everyone at the Diversity Expo. 

“The industry will become so much stronger as diversity enters the workforce, creating whole new ways to add value.

“There is a long way to go yet, but events such as this are a wonderful way to get things moving.”

Andy Walder, Director, CITB-ConstructionSkills National Construction College and Equalities Champion, said:

 “Dawn is a great example of one of many women who have been incredibly successful in the construction industry and we are delighted to welcome her as key note speaker at this year’s Construction Diversity Expo.

“We’re working to recruit the best and brightest new recruits into construction and it’s important we support events such as these to encourage more women, people from ethnic minority backgrounds and disabled people into the industry.”

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Niki Luscombe, CEO, Women and Manual Trades, said:

“Dawn is an inspirational speaker and brilliant role model for women in the industry.

“In this challenging economy, employers will be looking to achieve competitive advantage, and with a new national diversity award being launched at the Expo this year, this is an ideal time to learn from best practice across the industry and tap into new pools of talent.”

Flowcrete, which has a turnover reaching £30 million, was sold to New York Stock Exchange listed company RPM in April 2008, after which Dawn set up her new venture – Barefoot Living.

After appearing on Secret Millionaire she also set up The Barefoot Foundation, which aims to eradicate poverty and abuse in the UK.

Dawn has served on the government’s Manufacturing Forum, launching the Manufacturing Advisory Service with an aim of detoxifying the UK of waste. She was appointed Ambassador for the Carbon Trust in 2010.

Currently, Dawn is a founding member of Vince Cable’s Entrepreneurs' Forum, advising the Coalition Government on new business and enterprise policies.

The Construction Diversity Expo will feature over 50 construction employers, training providers and support organisations to help job-seekers who are under-represented in the sector with routes into local employment and training in construction.

The Conference for employers will take place at The Guildhall, London, on 12th September 2011 between 10am and 2pm, while the exhibition will run from 11am to 6pm.

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