REBECCA Thompson has become the 114th president of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

Only the second woman to ever hold the position, she is from York and is a specialist in heritage conservation and a lecturer in building studies.

She used her inaugural address to call for a more inclusive profession, in which women, ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities are actively welcomed into construction and provided with the support to grow and develop.

She said: "The better we make our industry – the more professional we are – the more we will attract young people. We have a tremendous offer: a career in which one can go back to a building years later and say, I helped build that."

A lecturer in Building Studies at York College, her many years in construction began as a quantity surveyor at Shepherd Construction and recently included seven years at York Minister, first as Superintendent of Works and then as Chapter Steward, a chief executive role.

She intends to use her presidency to also promote training and development in the specialist heritage field, and to remind people of the huge responsibility that building professionals bear for preserving the culture and history that is contained in buildings.

She runs her own business – Thompson Heritage Consultancy Ltd – and has been a CIOB Trustee since 2015. Her positions with numerous contractors and consultants, include EC Harris, Yorkon Limited, NHBC, and Shepherd Construction.