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One of the success stories of the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon was Georgia Fiddes, a female leader and commercial talent of the future.


Hailed as the largest road upgrade project in a generation, the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme was the flagship project for Road Investment Strategy (RIS) 1. The £1.5 billion project employed over 14,000 people.
The Integrated Delivery model adopted for this project empowered HW Martin (Traffic Management) Ltd to invest in the personal development of its dedicated workforce and promote an inclusive recruitment programme for several different roles including temporary traffic management trainees, commercial staff, and traffic management designers.
One of the success stories of the project was Georgia Fiddes, a female leader and commercial talent of the future.

Georgia has been in construction for seven years, dedicating six of those to the intricate world of traffic management. Her story is not just a testament to her personal growth, but a beacon for inspiring women in a field predominantly shaped by men, and a positive legacy following one of England’s most iconic road upgrades.

Beginning her professional life as an apprentice, Georgia swiftly rose through the ranks, showcasing her innate business acumen. Her trajectory from a temporary Receptionist to a Commercial Account Manager and Project Coordinator with the John Henry Group within a mere 12-months speaks volumes about her capabilities.

In 2014, she joined HW Martin (Traffic Management) Ltd, making her mark on the flagship Cambridge to Huntingdon project. Georgia’s prowess in business did not go unnoticed, leading to her promotion to Project Manager within a year. Specializing in the delivery of National Highways Sector Scheme (NHSS) 12D works, she managed static programmes on single carriageways, including overseeing temporary traffic signals and stop/go boards.

She remembers her formative years being difficult in terms of gaining the respect she needed from her peers to get the work done. Her fight to prove her worth eventually transformed into a powerful narrative of success. She explains:

“I was the person setting them work, making sure they’d followed procedure, and I was the liaison between them and the project managers. I didn’t need them to like me, but I needed them to listen to me and what I was asking them to do. It was a big fight to prove my worth sometimes, to show them that I knew what I was talking about and to earn their respect. That said, I think a lot of that fight was internal; a fight against my own limiting beliefs of myself, as much as it was external.”

As the A14 project progressed, Georgia’s role evolved. When the bypass element of the scheme opened in 2020, she embraced a new challenge as Contracts Coordinator on the M25. Here, she played a crucial part in managing and operating temporary traffic management on the network, ensuring safer and more reliable journeys for customers.

Georgia’s commitment to the industry extended beyond her professional duties. Actively participating in a cross-organisational social value delivery group on the A14, she visited schools, colleges and military resettlement events to promote careers in construction. Her passion for making a positive impact is reflected in her advocacy for roadworker welfare and safety.

One of Georgia’s notable achievements was her participation in the Balfour Beatty Junior Leadership Team development programme. Over 12 months, this initiative aimed at rising stars and leaders in the highways sector, provided Georgia and her peers with a platform for collaboration and networking. The experience bolstered her confidence and equipped her with skills crucial for her career journey. She said:

“The Junior Leadership Team was a great experience. It really helped my confidence and self-belief. I look after a lot of packages of work, and I found the experience empowered me to take control of those meetings, collaborate better with others and get what I needed from them to progress my work.”

In 2022, the commercial arm of HW Martin (Traffic Management) Ltd underwent a restructuring which opened the door to Georgia. She became a Commercial Assistant, overseeing the company’s Witham depot. Managing contract costs, completing valuations and preparing monthly figures for the Senior Leadership Team, she showcases her adaptability and competence in this role on a daily basis. Undoubtedly a trailblazer, Georgia manages multiple work packages from various clients, showcasing a level of trust not common for her experience level. As she pursues a Quantity Surveying Foundation qualification for continuous development, she aligns her formal education with the practical skills acquired on the job.

Peter Elliot, her line manager and Commercial Manager, praises Georgia’s integral role in the Witham depot. Her success, he notes, is entirely her own making, showcasing her energetic, self-confident, and passionate approach. In Georgia, he sees the future of the team’s succession plan, confident that this trailblazing woman is ready to step up whenever the need arises.

Georgia explains:

“I’m a woman in an industry that’s shaped by men, and I’m the only woman in the office at my depot too. I’m not doing anything special, I’m just getting on with it, but I think just that simple act is helpful to other women, especially those working out on the road, so they can see what they could be. It’s so important to be able to see someone like you doing the job.”

Georgia’s journey is not just a personal achievement; it’s a narrative of resilience, determination, and breaking barriers. Her story serves as an inspiration for women in the construction and traffic management industry, proving that their presence and contributions are invaluable. Georgia’s journey is more than a career; it’s a statement that challenges stereotypes and paves the way for future female leaders in a traditionally male-dominated field.