Caroline Yulin Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Ruskin Properties Limited, Top 10 Women CEOs of 2022 Profile

Caroline Yulin Wilson
Chief Executive Officer
Ruskin Properties Limited

Caroline Yulin Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Ruskin Properties Limited, Top 10 Women CEOs of 2022

“Founder of Intouch Global Foundation ”

Caroline Wilson is altruistic, and her driving force for a clear vision and business model mirrors the achievements of the world-famous chocolate-maker and philanthropist George Cadbury and his gift of houses in Bournville, Birmingham.

Contrary to popular belief, Bournville was conceived for people from a wide range of backgrounds and not just workers of the chocolate factory.

George Cadbury found people were buying up arts and crafts homes in the early development of Bournville to sell on for huge profits, so he started building homes for rent at a fair amount.

Caroline Wilson is the modern-day George Cadbury and is a formidable force in a male-dominated industry, balancing her passion with a clear business strategy to build high-quality properties, providing homes for local families with secure tenancies at fair rents constructed in-house a local direct-employed workforce.

Current trends within the UK housebuilding market are moving towards cheaper modern construction methods whereby houses are mostly timber frame and made in kit form, off-site in giant factories. Caroline is determined to remain true to her vision for quality and only builds in a traditional style with bricks and mortar.

Not only concerned with the quality of the finished product, but Caroline has also strived to create developments with green credentials, producing biodiversity net gains and homes which are energy efficient and low cost to run.

Discussing her challenges, Caroline says male dominance in the construction industry. From contractors, site trades, and industry leaders, male dominance is hard to ignore. “I'm Taiwanese and an Accountant by training. Establishing a team who bought into my vision of building high quality and design led developments was a challenge,” she explains. “I was determined to establish a workforce who respected me for my vision, construction knowledge and business drive, but also shared the enjoyment of training young local people and could take pride in their work.”

Working within a male-dominated environment has taught her always to be her authentic self, be kind and be mindful not just to adopt the styles of what a leader should look like or mirror other successful male peers. “I'm straight talking, lead with compassion and a strong resolve, while always being open minded to learn daily from others,” adds Caroline. “I'll always ensure promotions within my businesses are based on merit. As part of this commitment, we offer flexible working environments and part-time options to afford the same opportunities for working parents.”

Caroline personally mentors female members of the management team. They subscribe to female peer-to-peer organizations, such as Women in Planning, to support fellow female business owners and critical female personnel within other organizations. She has recently teamed up with Gordan Moody to help fund the world’s first women’s residential gambling addiction treatment centre. “It was a great privilege to facilitate the project and an amazing day when I attended the graduation of a cohort of women with gambling addictions.”

With the benefit of over a decade of mindfulness training and research, Caroline has created her mindfulness leadership training program, which includes training in the art of meditation. The program is based around a cascade mentoring process that inspires and empowers team members throughout the business at every level.

Caroline is clear in her vision for Ruskin. She empowers her team by building relationships with a strong group identity but fully understanding the needs and perspectives of both staff and tenants.

She allows all staff to reach their full potential by fostering an environment where creativity and new ideas are welcomed, but she also seeks to understand the motivations and obstacles of others to understand their needs better whilst always balancing empathy with honesty.

A reverse mentoring system allows feedback and ideas to be shared throughout the business.

Caroline's philanthropic work seeks specific causes to support rather than organizations. Having identified children and education as a cause to support, Caroline has recognized that supporting a range of organizations will cover more needs. A peer-to-peer mentoring system is in place for all groups and organizations which the Foundation supports.

“Although we have won a number of industry awards for design, planning and regeneration, the biggest achievement for Ruskin is the impact to local people – both young staff and our tenants through our social enterprise model,” she elucidates. WL


Ruskin Properties Limited


Caroline Yulin Wilson
Chief Executive Officer
Ruskin Properties Limited


An award-winning Private Rental Sector (PRS) housing developer, based in the Midlands.

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