Opinion

Laing O’Rourke goes all-inclusive

3 May 2019 | By Josh Murray

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Contractor has made a diversity and inclusion pledge. Here Josh Murray, group director of human capital and corporate affairs, explains the raison d’être.

Mention “construction worker,” and what image comes to mind? It is likely an image that has endured for centuries, and one that Laing O’Rourke is committed to changing through a concerted initiative for employee diversity and inclusion.

Central to this is our new global pledge, which calls upon all of us, regardless of role, to proactively perform three specific actions.

We will call it out: We will speak up when we see unfair and non-inclusive practices, but also make an example of best performance. We will reward leaders who create work environments that promote inclusion. We will hold hub executive teams and senior operational and functional leaders accountable for driving our diversity and inclusion agenda.

We will intervene: We appreciate that diversity begins with recognising our biases, some of which may be hidden to us. We will set ambitious targets and take clear actions to accelerate the number of women in project leadership. Our focus is to lead from the top, with inclusive leadership training for all group and hub executives in 2019, to then be flowed through the organisation.

We will connect: We need to connect at a personal level to understand different values and needs, then shape new methods of working which align with those factors. We will trial new working patterns to drive productivity, sustainability and engagement – and celebrate success.

There is only one way to change decades of non-inclusive practices: you change one moment at a time, one step at a time, but you don’t stop. Over time, our industry will begin to look like those we wish to emulate. Our workplaces will be places that support, inspire, bring people together. We, who are so good at building things, are building that vision, starting today.

Comments

I fully agree with the sentiment of inclusive practices but, if the the progress of A.I. continues unabated won't the future "construction worker" exclusively be a machine? Although I guess the upside is that the out of work will be a much more inclusive group.

Martin Tranter, 8 May 2019

The driving force in hiring a work force at any level should be ability regardless as to who you are. Also the ability to be a team player. The most successful projects are most often lead by those people who have been in the military

Roger Ward FCIOB PQS(F), 8 May 2019

The first one sounds like the pressure selling executives - make examples of those 'leaders' who do well (or justify big bonuses) do you also make examples of those who don't do as well.
Perhaps a better pledge might be to give ALL workers a fair deal as an incentive and not just the 'Leaders'.

RoyA, 13 May 2019

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