Diversity and inclusion remain central to our people strategy. We value diversity and celebrate individual differences, believing that our inclusive culture helps the business continue to grow as a strong, dynamic and innovative organisation.

Leo Quinn, Group Chief Executive, is the Board-level sponsor for diversity and inclusion. In 2016, the Board established a steering committee to govern the strategic activities across the UK and to track progress against a new three-year blueprint. This blueprint serves to outline the key deliverables and metrics necessary to attract diverse talent and create a more inclusive working environment.

Each strategic business unit produces a plan to align with the overarching strategy to ensure that diversity and inclusion activities are embedded to meet local employee and customer needs.

Four new Affinity Networks

In 2016, four new Affinity Networks were launched to enable employee groups to network, share information and gain support. The aim of these networks is to improve individual and organisational understanding of the different aspects of diversity and inclusion, in addition to supporting the Group’s strategy to be a great place to work.

In 2017, 257 UK leaders and employees attended a programme specifically linked to the objectives of the Group’s D&I agenda. To support the creation of an inclusive environment, Unconscious Bias workshops have been rolled out to employees with direct reports. As part of Balfour Beatty’s drive to retain female talent, a three-day Women in Business career development programme has been launched to support women in accelerating their careers.

In February 2017 Balfour Beatty joined the Apprentice Diversity Champions Network, working with other UK employers to increase the diversity of future apprentice intakes. A Returners’ programme was launched in 2017, to provide career placements to people who have been on a career break of two years or more. The Company’s efforts have been recognised externally – being shortlisted for a number of awards celebrating the Group’s commitment to D&I – along with Balfour Beatty employees who have featured in the Financial Times Top 100 LGBT+ Executives and Top 50 Future Leaders.

Award wins include CECA Inspiring Change, Women in Construction and Engineering, and Northern Power Women.

More information can be found on page 35 of the Annual Report 2018.