New Women’s Business Network Chair Shares Future Ambitions

Jenny Malem
Kathleen McGrail, Atkins' Programme Director for Advisory Services, has been named to take on the next exciting phase of development for the Middle East Women’s Business Network – an internal group set up by Faithful+Gould and Atkins to drive positive action on gender diversity.

The Women's Business Network (WBN) was established 18 months ago and made great strides under outgoing chair Lesley Desport (the leadership of the WBN is rotated every 12-18 months). Several initiatives have taken place so far including: regular networking events; coaching and mentoring; and collaboration with other women's business and networking groups.

New WBN Chair

Kathleen shares her insightful vision and ambitions for senior women in the construction industry through this video interview with Guy Arguin, Atkins' Regional HR Director.

The WBN has also worked hard to share its progress and lessons learned across the wider business community through conference participation and media engagement, such as this video which was shared via social media on International Women’s Day.

Kathleen McGrail takes over the WBN role with plenty of enthusiasm which promises to inspire many. Her appointment is testament to Faithful+Gould and Atkins strong support to create a better gender balance and empowerment of women. 

"I am very excited about this opportunity to make a difference and follow in the footsteps of Lesley Desport, who truly led by example in her previous role as chair and motivated many to strive for excellence."

Kathleen McGrail, Atkins' Programme Director for Advisory Services

Kathleen trained as a civil engineer and then changed her career direction by completing an MBA. She has been in the civil engineering and consultancy field for more than 20 years. With a strong determination to reach a senior level while dealing with the challenge of work-life balance, she has proven her leadership skills in change and programme management on complex transformational programmes across multiple industry sectors.

Kathleen commented on her appointment saying: "I am very excited about this opportunity to make a difference and follow in the footsteps of Lesley Desport, who truly led by example in her previous role as chair and motivated many to strive for excellence. My emphasis for the next phase of the WBN is about turning the great energy, hope and expectations of women in the business into concrete action. One of the focus areas will be to boost flexible working, maternity policies and the retention of talented women. I also wish to see more women achieving senior roles in this male dominated industry whilst continuing the focus on mentoring and coaching for the women in our business."

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