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Diversity Champion of the Year finalist: Lendlease

Lendlease operates on the basis that people are better if they can be themselves at work – and is working to ensure all of its employees feel they can be just that.

A stand-out achievement has been the establishment of its Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Network.

Founded only two years ago, the network has already seen significant success with its Rainbow Laces and No Bystanders campaigns.

The Rainbow Laces initiative saw the team give toolbox talks on site to direct employees and members of the supply chain, before providing them all with rainbow-coloured laces to wear with site boots – a simple but visually effective way to show that Lendlease sites are welcome to LGBT people.

The No Bystanders campaign was developed by Stonewall and implemented by Lendlease across its sites, and saw employees sign up against bullying and harassment – not just homophobia – as well as declare that they would challenge all forms of bullying when they could.

Lendlease marched in London Pride 2015 under the banner “Equality in Construction” (alongside Amec, Arup and Balfour Beatty), and also participated in the Stonewall Equality Index for the first time in 2014 and again in 2015, climbing more than 60 places in that period.

“Lendlease’s Martin Coyd was recognised as one of the 2015 Top 30 ‘Ally Executives’, alongside names like Mark Zuckerberg and Sir Richard Branson”

The two co-chairs of the firm’s LGBT Network have become steering committee members of the newly founded Off-Site Network, created for LGBT professionals working in the infrastructure and construction sectors.

This initiative resulted in Lendlease and five fellow construction firms – Arcadis, Arup, Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourke and Skanska – attend the Student Pride Careers Fair in February 2016.

Lendlease continues to offer support to other contractors in setting up their own LGBT networks and offers event space within its London office to host events for Stonewall and other organisations.

In addition, its LGBT Network sponsor and champion, European head of environment, health and safety Martin Coyd, was recognised as one of the 2015 Top 30 ‘Ally Executives’ by OUTstanding and the Financial Times, alongside names like Mark Zuckerberg and Sir Richard Branson.

Senior managers in all four of the companies’ regions have undergone unconscious bias training, and within Europe the regional leadership team is fully behind the ‘Straight Allies’ programme.

One clear illustration of the progress made comes from Lendlease’s staff survey results: 67 per cent of LGBT staff say they are happy to be out, well above the industry norm, while 86 per cent of LGBT staff feel Lendlease is an inclusive company.

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