Opinion

Bouygues’ model behaviour

4 June 2019 | By Julie Timothy

Bouygues UK’s CSR manager for Wales and the South West, Julie Timothy is one of Wales’s first Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) ambassadors. She explains how her role challenges the skills shortages in construction and tackles its reputation.

Julie Timothy

As a CSR manager for Bouygues UK, I work with the communities and stakeholders involved in our projects to amplify and communicate the social value our work gives. No two days are the same and I feel I make a difference to the people and projects I work on, so being a FIR Ambassador comes naturally.

As a major contractor, our supply chain is varied, from large to small businesses, to suppliers with a more diverse workforce, to others falling into the archetypal construction mould – overwhelmingly male, with dirty hands and banter to match.

Bouygues UK is working hard to change the perception of the industry and showcase the variety of career opportunities available and the diversity of people carrying them out – whether that be by signposting colleagues who are in need of advice, or commitment to providing opportunities for all and working with disadvantaged groups.

That’s why being a FIR Ambassador appealed – our industry is a professional sector which is making leaps and bounds to be more inclusive, but we have a skills shortage and challenges in improving our reputation, so encouraging best practice is vital. As ambassadors, we act as role models for fairness, inclusion and respect, take action when appropriate and challenge behaviours where necessary.

I’ve only been an ambassador for a few months, working closely with the Supply Chain Sustainability School and, so far, the initiative has been enthusiastically welcomed.

My colleagues recognise the value of the scheme, not only from a relationship-building viewpoint, but more crucially with the futureproofing of our industry, with the skills crisis looming. Diversity and inclusion are key to safeguarding our sector’s future.

So, as the Avengers have said a lot recently – FIR Ambassadors assemble!

Image: Artur Szczybylo - Dreamstime.com

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