Gemma Bown

Local Account Manager

When did you join Willmott Dixon

1 September 2000

What attracted you to us

There was a known shortage of young people moving into the industry at that time, I was always interested in Architecture and three dimensional design. Having a number of family members in the industry and facing the decision of potential university places, I contacted Willmott Dixon, being a local family run business, for some on site work experience. I was given the opportunity of two weeks on a construction site in Norwich where they were building the new UEA Sports Park, from this I was giving the opportunity of applying for a Trainee position within the company.

First position

Management Trainee

Tell us more about your career with us

I started on a 4 year Management Trainee Programme in September 2000. At the same time I enrolled on a 5 year BSc Hons in Construction Management at Luton University on a day release basis. The Willmott Dixon Management Programme takes you through all of the departments within the business. Although having decided that I wanted to be a Building Manager it was largely weighted towards more on site experience. Due to the university closing down all construction degree courses, I fast tracked and completed with a first class honours at the same time as completing the 4 year training programme with Willmott Dixon. This then allowed me to become an Assistant Building Manager in 2004. I was given my first opportunity of solely managing the construction of a Doctors surgery in Acton.

From this I was promoted to the position of Building Manager where I worked on a variety of different projects. I also became the first women to win a gold medal at the Construction Management of the Year Awards for a refurbishment of Winterflood Theatre at the City of London Boys school, which was my last project on site.

In 2008 I started a family and took a career move and came back to Willmott Dixon as a Design Coordinator. In 2011 I had my second child and I was promoted to Senior Design Coordinator in 2013 and then Local Account Manager in 2014 following my close relationships with Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council.

What do you like about our culture

Willmott Dixon is built around family values where I feel all employees count and you are not just a number! If you have come through the training programme as I have, you understand the business well and you are repaid and respected for that dedication and loyalty.

Tips for success

Dedication at your discipline working with your team and line Manager to achieve the best results for the business at the highest standards. Dedication leads to reward and promotion within. If a career move is required into a different discipline Willmott Dixon are accommodating and will review all of the options working with you.


In this short video Gemma Bown talks about her career at Willmott Dixon.