AN OTLEY architect has spoken of her pride at being awarded an MBE.

Stefanie Stead was named in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List for ‘services to architecture and the construction industry’ in her role as regional Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Construction Industry Council.

The 36 year old, who is the director of Otley chartered architectural practice Stead & Co, said she had been ‘incredibly shocked’ when she as first told the news.

She said: “You don’t expect these things at all, you think, ‘what have I done to deserve this?’.

“I’m so happy and proud, this was a big surprise.

“The council is a pan-institutional organisation where all member construction bodies collaborate under one umbrella.

“I was the regional representative and then became chair but recently stood down because I have just had a baby, but I held the role for five or six years.

“I went into schools raising the profile of the industry and trying to get more girls into construction.

“We are doing a lot of work now with diversity; we are doing well on gender but there are other areas of diversity where we need to improve.

“I have tried to be a role model to get more women and girls into the industry, and I also run my own architecture business.”

The Chartered Architect is now looking forward to officially receiving her MBE at Buckingham Palace later in 2019.

She said: “It would be an honour to receive my MBE from any member of the Royal family, but I do very much admire what Prince William and Harry have done, I think it’s because we are the same generation.

“But I think for anyone meeting the Queen would be amazing.”