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Charlotte Ludford: a shining star in project delivery and diversity advocacy – Midlands Women In Tech Awards finalist spotlight

By Methods14 September 20233 min read

Continuing our focus on the remarkable women shortlisted at the Midlands Women In Tech Awards, next up is Charlotte Ludford, a finalist in the ‘Shining Star’ and ‘Project Delivery Lead’ categories.

Charlotte stands as an industry role model, crafting her career from junior Civil Service ranks to senior level. Charlotte’s approach to project delivery has been based on four key values:

  • Increasing the use of technology to ensure the successful delivery of projects
  • Ensuring investment in developing people and diversity are at the heart of delivery
  • Always looking for and being open to input on how to deliver more effectively
  • Not being afraid to speak up honestly for herself or on behalf of others.

In her current role as Deputy Director of the Project Delivery Centre of Expertise and Deputy Head of Project Delivery profession at Defra, Charlotte has provided visible and inspirational leadership across the organisation, creating a diverse community of industry professionals with the skills and support to excel in their roles. Charlotte prioritises creating an environment that attracts a diverse range of talent at all levels, fostering unity and dynamism. Charlotte has advocated for the increased use of digital tools and data in the delivery of projects across the organisation, resulting in more effective delivery that allows for informed decision-making on project health. Charlotte is accountable for several Major Programme’s assurance for Defra where she has cultivated robust relationships to ensure successful delivery.

Charlotte’s key notable achievements include:

  • Leading the Office for the Public Guardian transformation Programme, Charlotte spearheaded the digitisation of Lasting Powers of Attorney by developing a single view of change for the organisation and consolidating a previously disparate portfolio, reducing the number of projects by an incredible 80%. This enabled a clear focus on the organisation’s key priorities.
  • Charlotte revamped the National Careers service delivery team’s structure by designing and implementing a new operating model, which set the standards and principles for digital delivery across the service. Charlotte achieved this by decreasing dependence on managed services by 40% over six months and fostering in-house capability for portfolio delivery.
  • At the helm of Defra’s Project Delivery profession, Charlotte elevated its visibility and prowess. She bolstered delivery assurance through the effective management of Business Partners and the implementation of Tiger Team. Since Charlotte’s arrival, Defra received the highest Project Delivery functional score across all Civil Service Departments (in 2022).

As a mixed race, LGBT+, woman, Charlotte is a fierce advocate for diversity across the project delivery and technology professions. Charlotte is currently the chair of the Defra Pride network, focused on creating an inclusive environment within Defra. Charlotte has challenged the inclusivity of policies and spoken at numerous events, as well as producing internal blogs to promote the development of women and other underrepresented groups within the industry.

If you think that Charlotte is worthy of winning the award for ‘Shining Star’ or ‘Project Delivery Lead’, then please take a minute to cast your vote for her here.