Skanska UK has appointed Katy Dowding as its new president and chief executive, effective from 2 May, making her the only woman currently running a tier one contractor.
Dowding (pictured), a 20-year veteran of the company, has been promoted from her current role as executive vice president, to which she was appointed in 2017.
She succeeds Gregor Craig, who is retiring after six years as president and chief executive.
Female chief executives remain rare in the top tier of the construction industry. The two most recent examples include Debbie White at Interserve and Amada Fisher at Amey, neither of whom remain in post.
Skanska was ranked 17th in the CN100 list of top contractors for 2022. In its most recent set of accounts, it posted turnover of £1.12bn for the 12 months ending 31 December 2021.
As executive vice president, Dowding has been responsible for running both the building and building services businesses within Skanska UK. She serves as a member of the board for the Skanska-Costain-Strabag joint venture that is boring twin 13-mile tunnels from Euston for the HS2 high-speed rail project.
Dowding also sits on the industry’s Construction Productivity Taskforce and was chair of the National Association of Women in Construction for eight years.
Recent gender pay-gap research by Construction News and sister title New Civil Engineer showed that Skanska performed exceptionally well on gender pay last year.
Its median bonus pay gap was 143.7 per cent in favour of women – the highest among the 29 companies surveyed and one of only two firms where median bonuses were higher than for males.
Adam McDonald succeeds Dowding as executive vice president for Skanska UK’s building and building services operations.