Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, has continued its momentum in driving change in the construction industry through its support of the new Fairness, Inclusion & Respect (FIR) Commitment: Better for Everyone.
The FIR Commitment: Better for everyone, represents a vital shift change in accelerating cultural transformation in the industry and addressing the vital skills shortage which will affect all major infrastructure, construction and housebuilding projects over the coming years.
Alasdair Reinser, Chief Executive of CECA, said: “With an unprecedented amount of work in the pipeline, it is essential that the industry joins together to ensure that a career in construction is considered an attractive option for the next generation and that we retain and develop those already working in the sector.
“In signing up to the campaign, companies large and small are declaring their commitment to making their workplaces fairer, more inclusive and respectful. I’m delighted to see so many leading the way and committing to drive change within their businesses to make our industry ‘Better for Everyone’.”
Paul Raby, Group HR Director, Balfour Beatty, said: “A diverse and inclusive workforce is central to bridging the skills gap and ensuring the successful delivery of the pipeline of infrastructure projects over the next decade and beyond. The FIR Commitment is integral to this. We must have a workforce that is truly representative of the diverse world in which we live.”
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Notes to editors:
Balfour Beatty is committed to creating an environment where all our employees can be themselves at work and perform at their best. As a global company, it is critical to our success that our employees are as diverse as the customers and communities we serve. In order to achieve this Balfour Beatty has taken the following action:
Establishing diversity as a key part of the company’s Build to Last transformation. The diversity and inclusion three-year plan sets out strategic aims, objectives and, more importantly, metrics in support of our endeavours. Overseen by Balfour Beatty Chief Executive Leo Quinn its progress against these metrics is regularly tracked.
Creating a range of national networks across the company to support BAME, Women and LGBTQ staff in creating a workplace that is more inclusive.
With the support of its customers, Balfour Beatty is recruiting from a large and more diverse pool of talent. For instance, in collaboration with Network Grid, our Power, Transmission and Distribution division provide opportunities for ex-offenders to get back into employment. Our Rail division support the British Forces Resettlement Services and its careers events, through advising service personnel on careers within the construction industry.
Working with expert diversity and inclusion focused bodies and networks such as Stonewall and The LGBT Construction Working to get guidance on how we can better improve our recruitment and workplace culture so that we can recruit and retain a talented and diverse workforce.
Actively promoting and encouraging our women to enter awards such as the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards to overcome the perceived barriers to career progression.
This year, Jwerea Malik, a Business Analyst at Balfour Beatty was awarded the Best Woman in Highways award at The European Women in Construction and Engineering (WICE) for her work in driving forward the Balfour Beatty Women in Business Allies Affinity network and in actively encouraging the use of safe reporting.
Christina Riley, a Senior Planner and the Chair of Balfour Beatty’s LGBT & Allies Affinity network was also awarded the Corporate Rising Star award at the British Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) awards ceremony for her work in driving change within the business and more widely across the construction industry. Since 2015, Balfour Beatty’s LGBT & Allies Affinity Network has achieved a total of eight high-profile awards for its contribution to diversity in the workforce, including the Inspiring Change Award, the Outstanding Future Leader List and the Rainbow List One to Watch.