Julie White, Managing Director, D-Drill (Masters Drillers) Ltd
Julie White completed a management buy-out of D-Drill from her father in 2008 and immediately set about restructuring, remodelling and transforming the business. Julie has always been a hands-on managing director and completed her NVQ5 in Business at the same time as starting her own company, Superfloor UK Ltd in 2001, introducing new techniques for specialist floor preparation to the UK.
D-Drill has now been trading for close to 50 years and it has the UK’s largest branch network in its sector with an unrivalled team of experts utilising the latest equipment in diamond drilling, sawing and controlled demolition technology.
Under Julie’s watch, the company has added further divisions too – around concrete scanning, floor preparation, ‘cracking and seating’ as well as inventing a new D-Kerb machine that can cut kerbs to 45 degrees in situ for the London ‘Super Cycle Highway’ of which the technology was ‘highly Commended’ for ‘Innovation of the Year for Construction 2016’ in February 2016.
Julie is the only women running a business in this specialist industry and the first woman to be appointed to a professional body for the industry, having joined the board of directors for ‘The Drilling and Sawing Association’ and is now President of the World Association (IACDS) – the first woman ever to take up that post.
She has shown a huge commitment to training and apprenticeships – spending five times the industry average on training and, currently, 45 per cent of the D-Drill workforce are either undergoing or have completed an apprenticeship with the company.
Julie is a previous chair of the National Specialist Contractors’ Council’s (NSCC) Training Committee and was part of the group that formed BuildUK which represents 27 of the largest Main Contractors and 11,500 Specialist which represent 305,000 construction employees, together they deliver excess of 40% of the UK Construction. She now chairs the Training and Skills’ & ‘Trade Association Forum’ and has an honoured position (1 of 8 people in UK Construction) to sit as a Director on the main Strategy BuildUK board.
Julie herself is undertaking an apprenticeship to better understand what staff have to contend with on a day-to-day basis. Under her leadership, D-Drill has won numerous industry accolades including a coveted award from the ‘International Association of Concrete Drillers and Sawers’ (IACDS) ‘The Diamond Awards’, the equivalent of an Oscar for the drilling and cutting sector and late in 2011 she was chosen as the Vitalise Businesswoman of the Year – following in the footsteps of Karren Brady and Hilary Devey, of BBC Dragons’ Den.
Since then, White has raised her own profile as well as that of the business by appearing on several occasions on the national news and radio also on BBC’s Question Time, The One Show, Daily Politics Show, BBC Breakfast, Any Questions, The BBC & Sky Budget & Autumn Statement, Show Me The Money, The Bottom Line, Sophy Ridge on Sunday and Sky paper reviews as well as in the Guardian, The Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday and the Daily Telegraph.