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Diversity Champion of the Year: Finalists

More and more companies are starting to take diversity and inclusion more seriously – and our six finalists this year have gone the extra mile.

CN Awards 2017 Diversity Balfour Beatty Expert Affinity Networks Nat Student Pride 2017

CN Awards 2017 Diversity Balfour Beatty Expert Affinity Networks Nat Student Pride 2017

Balfour Beatty

Balfour Beatty has completely refreshed its approach to diversity and inclusion, with the contractor’s chief executive Leo Quinn the board-level sponsor for it. He established a new steering committee to govern strategic D&I across the UK, tracking progress against a three-year blueprint.

In 2016, the firm launched four new affinity networks to allow employees to get support, and was one of the first infrastructure companies to create an LGBT professional network. Balfour was also represented in the Financial Times’ Top 50 Future LGBT Leaders list for 2016.

CN Awards 2017 Diversity Carillion Highways London Pride

CN Awards 2017 Diversity Carillion Highways London Pride

Carillion Highways

Carillion Highways has sought to raise knowledge and awareness of diversity and inclusion among not just its employees but also clients, customers, JV partners and its supply chain. The firm worked closely with the National Centre for Diversity to align its objectives and work towards the Investors and Leaders in Diversity standards, and set out robust plans to deliver its goals.

It has also worked closely with subcontractor Hawk on its ex-offender programme, which involves inmates undertaking five weeks’ training in a number of plant categories, including onsite work experience, to enable them to gain CPCS certification and find work upon release.

CN Awards 2017 Diversity Interserve

CN Awards 2017 Diversity Interserve

Interserve Construction

Interserve’s commitment to D&I has extended to successfully employing a number of disabled workers following a project for the Graeae Theatre Company.

Senior consultant and Interserve diversity champion Arran Linton-Smith spoke at last year’s Construction News Summit, too, raising awareness of autism within the industry, and has also presented in parliament and appeared on BBC East Midlands.

The contractor has achieved the National Equality Standard and was working towards Leadership in Diversity at the time of entry.

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Go to to reserve your place at the glittering awards ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

CN Awards 2017 Diversity Lendlease

CN Awards 2017 Diversity Lendlease


Lendlease demonstrated efforts to create an environment where all employees feel comfortable, with opportunities to succeed.

The firm signed up the National Equality Standard, one of the first construction companies to do so, and continues to work towards an aspiration of having a 50:50 gender split within the organisation by 2025.

Last year also saw the contractor climb 21 places in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, to 222 out of 439 companies, and its rainbow laces campaign issued more than 3,000 laces to workers on site.

CN Awards 2017 Diversity VGC Group

CN Awards 2017 Diversity VGC Group

VGC Group

The National Skills Academy for Rail rated VGC Group ‘outstanding’ for equality and diversity, showing its strong commitment to the agenda.

The company has a good record on employing an ethnically diverse workforce and is actively working to encourage and support women within the business.

VGC is the only gold partner in the ‘labour supply’ category of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, benchmarking its diversity performance against the biggest players in the industry – placing it alongside the most high-profile names in construction.

Vinci Construction UK

In early 2016, Vinci’s board decided that it would work towards the Leaders in Diversity accreditation, having already achieved the Investors in Diversity standard in 2013.

The company developed a plan that was communicated throughout the business and achieved accreditation in December 2016, one of the first large construction companies to do so.

Part of this strategy involved a launch event in March 2016, gathering 70 of the business’ leaders together in one place to talk about fairness, inclusion and diversity – a strategy that has clearly paid off.

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