Wates, Willmott Dixon and Jacobs recognised for gender equality

Wates, Willmott Dixon and Jacobs have been included on The Times 2022 list of the Top 50 Employers for Women.

National Grid and Network Rail are also on the list, along with mining company Anglo American.

Run by Business in the Community (BITC), The Prince’s Responsible Business Network and The Times for more than a decade, The Times Top 50 Employers for Women identifies companies that make gender equality part of the way they do business.

Organisations were assessed on the work they do to remove the drivers that enforce gender inequality, from flexible working and family-friendly policies to pay, reward and progression.

Wates is committed to becoming more representative of the communities where it works, with a target to achieve 40 per cent female representation at all levels within the business by 2025.

Earlier this year, the company issued guidance to colleagues on recognising and responding to menopause at work. It recently worked with the Fawcett Society to publish the largest-ever survey of menopausal women, resulting in the Menopause and the Workplace report, which called for greater action from government and business to bring about urgent change.

In 2020, Wates announced a complete overhaul of its family-friendly policies – including enhanced paternity/partner leave, and increased maternity leave and carer leave – to enable a greater sharing of responsibilities at work and home, and to help promote the development of a more inclusive culture.

When it launched its Flexible Working principles last June, Wates became one of the first built environment businesses to encourage flexible working in every role and at every level across the business.

Earlier this year, Wates secured a £90m sustainability-linked loan facility, which will, among other things, hold the business to account for increasing the number of women in senior leadership positions.

Wates Group inclusion and diversity director Nikunj Upadhyay said: “We believe that the best places to work are those that promote a culture that includes everyone. This not only creates opportunities for individuals, but also enables the business to succeed in the future as a result of benefitting from greater diversity of talent, skills and experience. We are only at the start of our journey. This recognition strengthens our commitment to drive positive action, both within our business and the built environment sector more broadly.”

Meanwhile, it is the fourth successive year that Willmott Dixon has featured on the list, having committed to achieving gender parity across all levels of the business by 2030.

Willmott Dixon group chief executive Rick Willmott said: “I believe an inclusive and balanced business leads to better outcomes for our customers, alongside making us a great place to work, where our people feel challenged, content and able to make a difference.”

Business in the Community gender equality campaign director Katy Neep said: “The cost of living crisis, following hot on the heels of the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 faced by women, has further shone a light on how far we have to go on gender equality. Without action from all employers, we will end up chasing our tails while trying to eradicate the inequalities gap and create truly inclusive workplaces for all women.”

The Times Top 50 gives us hope that we are making strong progress in our goal towards gender equality, and in our 40th year, we call on all employers to be bolder, braver and faster in achieving that goal. This year’s application process was the most competitive one we have ever seen.”

Construction News and sister title New Civil Engineer have teamed up to create the Inspiring Women in Construction and Engineering Awards. Women in the construction and engineering industry and those who have provided support to boost their careers have until 1 June to submit their award entries. 

The awards are part of a joint programme by the two magazines, which is sponsored by Curtins, Mott MacDonald and Willmott Dixon. Building on the previous NCE Recognising Women in Engineering Awards and CN Inspiring Women in Construction, the two publications are working together to provide networking opportunities and learning resources to help women make career progress, and celebrate organisations that are great places to work for women.

The initiative will focus on mentoring this year, and kicked off with a free webinar event. It will include a workshop this summer, before culminating in the awards on 6 October.

Leave a comment