Construction Enquirer News UK’s biggest project signs up to Race at Work Charter to improve industry’s ethnic diversity

HS2 has committed to racial equality on the UK biggest infrastructure project by signing up to Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter.

The initiative is designed to improve employment outcomes for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees.

With HS2 set to support 30,000 jobs at peak construction, the project is well-placed to rebalance representation of BAME employees across all levels of the workforce.

The 2017 McGregor-Smith Review, ‘Race in the workplace’, found that people from BAME backgrounds were still underemployed, underpromoted and under-represented at senior levels across all industry’s including construction.

Construction as a proportion of all ethnic group employment
Ethnic group White Black Mixed Indian Pakistani Other
Other All ethnic
Construction 7.6% 3.2% 4.8% 4.6% 2.4% 1% 3.5% 3.3%

HS2 non-executive board member Judith Hackitt has been appointed as Board Diversity Champion to scrutinise HS2’s equality, diversity and inclusion performance.

She said: “We have an amazing opportunity here to set the standards across the UK’s construction and rail engineering sectors.

“HS2’s supply chain will extend out to thousands of British businesses over the next decade, so this is a genuine opportunity for us to play a leading role in the implementation of measures that truly ensure BAME employees are fairly represented and have equality of opportunity to thrive in the workplace.”

As part of the Charter HS2 will make equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers; supports ethnic minority career progression and ensure zero tolerance of harassment and bullying.

HS2 is also now committed to publicising progress on raising diversity within its teams.


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