Danna’s Story

Name

Danna Walker

Business 

built by us

Business Sector

Construction

Time in Business

Mentor

Ignacio Delcastillo

Danna’s career started with an apprenticeship as an electrician, not the typical career path for a young women. She then retrained as an architect but her real passion was to address the inequalities in the UK Building Industry faced by women and black and minority groups. 

 

 

She entered our Incubator programme in 2016 determined to change the face of the Building Industry.

 

In the short space of just 2 years, she is one of the UK’s biggest influencers to pushing the diversity & inclusion agenda in her sector. She recently presented Architecture of Incarceration on BBC Radio 4, got interviewed by architectsjournal.co.uk & womanthology.co.uk, as well as sharing her story in the UK’s first Women In Construction Summit. Yet, when we met Danna, Built By Us had only been incorporated for a year as a limited company and it was far from the incredible not-for-profit consultancy she needed to address the big challenges her industry is facing.

 

As part of the Incubator, Danna benefited greatly from our modular business training but it was the mentoring programme that had the biggest impact on her and pushed her business. “My mentor, Ignacio Delcastillo, from Deutsche Bank was brilliant, understanding and driven. He now sits on the Advisory Board for Built By Us.”

Mentoring is now part of her business model and Hatch shared our methodology, our mentor handbook and resources for her to apply it to her specific setting. She now has 3 live mentoring programmes working with almost 100 mentors and mentees across 2 existing programmes called “Shape” (16 mentors/ mentees) and “Fluid” (80 mentors/ mentees) and is launching a new programme called “Build”. These programmes link volunteer mentors and mentees from across the construction industry, with construction professionals from diverse backgrounds and at different career stages. In her last financial year she turned over £15,000, with growth anticipated for 2019 at £45,000. 

 

Her needs are to operationalise the company further, especially around selling her mentoring programmes, as well as getting help with impact measurement and reporting.

“Hatch is the difference between singing in the bedroom and singing on stage."