Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Wates creates annual ‘inclusion month’

22 October 2020

Wates Group is to dedicate October each year to promoting diversity and inclusion.

As part of the new “inclusion month”, the company has revealed an increase in the proportion of women working across the group from 18.9% in 2018 to 20.3% in 2019. The contractor’s gender pay gap has also fallen from 23.1% in 2018 to 21.7% in 2019.

There was also an increase in the proportion of women at the most senior levels of the company, from 10% to 11.5%, Wates said. The business has a target of increasing the proportion of women working within it to 40% by 2025.

Wates has published its third gender pay gap report this year despite the pandemic having suspended the legal obligations on companies to do so.

Meanwhile, employees have been invited to participate in a range of ‘masterclasses’ on issues as diverse as overcoming imposter syndrome, building an LGBT+ inclusive workplace, and building confidence in a virtual world; to join themed quizzes; and to attend webinars featuring leading figures in diversity and inclusion in the UK such as the founder of UK Black Pride, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah.

October coincides with Black History Month, and Wates has featured other activities focused on combatting racism and responding to the global conversation on race prompted by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Wates head of diversity and inclusion Nikunj Upadhyay said: “We are committed to building an organisation which is more representative of the communities we serve, offering equality of opportunities to diverse talent and an inclusive work environment where this talent thrives. The bold targets we have set ourselves will take time to achieve, but we are moving in the right direction and we are committed to achieving sustainable change.”

Inclusion Month was established acknowledging key events within the diversity calendar in October, particularly Black History Month, World Menopause Awareness Day,  National Work Life Week, National Coming Out Day and World Mental Health Day.


Whilst moves in the right direction are always welcome, the pace is not exactly stellar. Also, how can you describe your opportunities as equal when you set a specific target based on gender, race, religion or any other discriminatory criterion?

Mark, 30 October 2020