Lendlease backs Inspiring Women pledge

Lendlease has become the latest construction firm to adopt the Inspiring Women in Construction & Engineering Pledge.

Construction News launched the pledge in June 2021 as a voluntary code of practice that companies can adopt to signal their support for women in the industry. Signatories promise to adopt a series of measures to drive gender diversity in their organisation.

Shaina Kotecha, head of people and culture at Lendlease, said: “We’re proud to be signatories to the Inspiring Women in Construction & Engineering Pledge, as gender is a key pillar of our diversity and inclusion strategy. Whether through policies including enhanced maternity pay, enhanced shared parental leave, flexible working and wellbeing initiatives, we strive to provide a culture that cares, has diverse representation and ensures everyone has a voice.”

Kotecha and the firm’s construction managing director for Europe, Simon Gorski, signed the pledge on behalf of Lendlease.

Last month, CN joined forces with sister publication New Civil Engineer to expand the scope of the Inspiring Women programme to include engineering as well as construction organisations. Signatories to the Inspiring Women Pledge agree to:

  • Recognise the diverse perspectives and skills that women bring to the workforce
  • Ensure HR policies actively promote gender equality
  • Make unconscious-bias training mandatory for anyone in charge of selecting other people
  • Use inclusive language in recruitment adverts and job descriptions
  • Establish programmes for female employees to support career progression
  • Take steps to close their gender pay gap.

In the firm’s latest gender pay-gap report, published at the end of March, Lendlease Europe chief executive Neil Martin said that the COVID-19 pandemic had provided an opportunity “to reinforce and accelerate our progress towards more modern working practices – where we’re supporting hybrid working where possible, and flexible working for all”.

But he added: “We know that males continue to make up the largest share of professionals within the built-environment industry, and we still face challenges increasing female representation at more senior levels.”

Lendlease’s 2021 pay-gap report showed that women employees earned about 78p for every £1 that men earn when comparing median hourly pay – a marginal improvement on a year earlier. Since 2017, the proportion of women in the third quartile of earners at the firm – taking home above-average pay but not in the top echelon – had increased from 19 per cent to 27 per cent, which Lendlease said was due to “the work we have been doing in previous years to increase representation at senior levels”.

Lendlease joins almost 40 previous signatories to the Inspiring Women Pledge, including Aecom, Arcadis, Costain, Keltbray, Laing O’Rourke, Mace, Mid Group, Murphy, National Infrastructure Commission, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska, Trad Group, Van Elle, Vinci Construction, VolkerWessels and Inspiring Women sponsor Willmott Dixon.

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