Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative of the Year

This category is open to all types of companies working in the construction and engineering industry who can demonstrate excellence in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) initiatives. Whether it is an initiative to improve diversity with leadership teams, recruitment or retention, this award recognises the industry leading EDI initiatives to further develop and encourage women within the sector. These initiatives could cover support for those going through menopause, flexible working, or schemes to help parents and carers.

A&B Engineering

A&B Engineering excels in promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) within the construction and engineering industry. Our initiatives support women in leadership, offer flexible working arrangements for parents and carers, provide pregnancy and menopause support, and employ diverse recruitment and retention strategies. These efforts cultivate an inclusive culture where all employees feel valued and empowered. As a pregnant and international woman at A&B Engineering, I've experienced firsthand the benefits of our EDI initiatives. From mentorship programs to flexible work policies, our company prioritizes the well-being and career advancement of women. A&B Engineering's commitment to EDI sets a standard for the industry, making us a deserving recipient of the EDI Excellence Award.

Women's PPE survey

The Women’s PPE Survey, spearheaded by employees Hollie Taylor (Engineer) and Fiona Ray (HSEQ), emerged when disparities in the quality of women’s PPE compared to men’s were noted. This initiative, crucial for basic female site workers safety, has gathered essential feedback, leading to significant enhancements in PPE range, fit, and availability. It has also fostered working groups that empower women to share their experiences and the influence on their careers, creating supportive communities within male-dominated fields. These discussions extend beyond safety gear, addressing broader issues of women’s workplace well-being. The initiative works of the basis that women should feel safe at work, but also empowered to do their jobs. If you are not supplied with safety equipment that does not work in your favour how can you feel ready to undertake day to day tasks let alone those which are safety critical.


Places Shadow Board UK and Ireland

The Shadow Board (SB) initiative in Arcadis UK&I Places business is dedicated to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion within the Places business. With 80% female representation, the SB ensures diverse voices are heard and valued, advocating for underrepresented groups. The board collaborates with senior leadership to influence strategic decisions and promote inclusive working environments. Through outreach and engagement sessions, the SB creates a safe space for employees to raise challenges and opportunities, resulting in improved organisational culture and increased employee satisfaction. The SB's impact and best practices have been shared across Arcadis, inspiring similar initiatives in other sectors and regions. By promoting allyship and empowerment, the SB sets an example for the industry, driving tangible improvements and leading by example in celebrating equality, diversity, and inclusion. This commitment aims to inspire exponential change and highlight the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Mothers into Work

Farzana Sarwar, an independent female entrepreneur and CEO of Mothers into Work, is committed to promoting gender equality in the construction industry. Through her company, she has established partnerships, notably with Mace Interiors, to provide work experience and confidence-building workshops tailored for mothers interested in construction careers. Participants receive valuable assets like employer references and certificates. Understanding the challenges facing mothers returning to work, Farzana's initiative fosters resilience and leadership by networking with leading firms and local communities. Her goal is to empower mothers economically and enhance their skills, benefiting families and communities. Farzana seeks visibility for her project to encourage more construction firms to offer similar opportunities, ultimately promoting economic transformation and empowering women. She humbly applies for an award to amplify her impact to gender equality in the workplace.


Women in construction

We are committed as an organisation to creating an even greater place to work where our colleagues are valued, respected and can be their authentic selves. A main part of our DE&I strategy is to increase female representation at all levels and especially in our technical roles, such as building inspectors, surveyors, engineers, technical trainers, major project specialists etc. We aim to attract female talent to these roles but also to ensure our talented women within the organisation have opportunities to develop and thrive. This is part of a mid to longer-term vision for our organisation but for the industry as a whole as we are passionate to be significant instruments of change. Our DE&I team are part of the Home Builders Federation DEI forum. We recruit for and run apprenticeship courses in construction in partnership with our builder customers where we actively encourage women to apply.

Skills 4

Empower career development programme

The Skills 4 EMPOWER programme was launched in 2008 with the aim of addressing the underrepresentation of women in male dominated sectors. Through collaboration with key clients, including AtkinsRealis, Arcadis and Balfour Beatty, the programme addressed the attraction, retention and progression of women in Construction and Engineering. The EMPOWER programme improves proactive ownership, authenticity and confidence, enabling women to seek and achieve progression opportunities. It provides delegates with the tools, techniques and support to progress and in 2023, 91% of participants credited the programme for supporting career progression leading to promotion or greater responsibility. A case study with our long-standing client AtkinsRealis, where we have trained 1000+ women, demonstrates: An increase at senior grades from 14% to 18% Increase in retention rates across all grades from 7% to 9% An increase of women in the workforce from 27% to 30% Over 66% of the women were promoted within a year.