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Diversity Champion of the Year: Winner


The CN Awards judges were extremely impressed by the high standard of entries in our inaugural Diversity Champion of the Year award, coming from a variety of different-sized companies working in a range of sectors.

From multinational contractors to family-owned subbies, it’s clear diversity and inclusion is being taken seriously by the construction industry – and this award aims to highlight some of the good work being done, as well as provide inspiration to others who are on a different stage of the journey.

The inaugural winner is Skanska, which blew our judges away with a comprehensive and thorough consideration of why diversity is a business imperative and a major area of focus.

The firm argues that it has to find the best and brightest to stay ahead of its peers – so beyond the moral arguments for pursuing diversity and inclusion, Skanska has truly embedded diversity into its DNA, using it as a tool to benefit existing staff and attract new people into the industry from untapped areas.

A new UK executive management team was put in place in 2008 by the Swedish parent company, kick-starting its diversity journey. The firm now has a D&I Vision 2020 policy in place, with the aim of being a leader in diversity and inclusion by 2020.

“Skanska has hard-coded D&I into its business plan and is seeking to embed diversity into its organisation’s DNA”

Judges’ comment

The judges felt that Skanska was already well on the way to achieving this goal, working hard from leadership level down to make the company a more inclusive place to work.

They gave the award to Skanska because of the “breadth and depth of leadership supporting all strands of its clear diversity strategy”.

The judges also said: “Skanska has hard-coded D&I into its business plan and is seeking to embed it into the organisation’s DNA.”

Skanska says it will create 2,000 new jobs by 2020. In 2015, its intake was 67 per cent male and 33 per cent female, with 14 per cent non-white and 86 per cent white. There is clearly still more to be done – but the numbers are trending in the right direction thanks to the positive work already undertaken.

Skanska is a true leader on diversity in construction and is a deserved inaugural winner of the Diversity Champion of the Year award.

Highly commended: Ardmore

Family-owned medium-sized contractor Ardmore drew praise from our judges for its approach to training and the value it places in its people.

The firm has been successful in engaging apprentices on training programmes – particularly women.

In 2015, the firm’s new intake was 31 per cent female, with 38 per cent of its total PAYE staff also female – truly impressive numbers in the construction industry.

Our judges said Ardmore is punching above its weight and that its programmes are helping to enable social mobility. “They enable people to get in and get on,” they added.


  • AJ Morrisroe & Sons
  • Carillion
  • Interserve Construction
  • Lendlease


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