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Diversity Champion of the Year: Winner

Winner: Carillion Highways

Carillion Highways impressed the judging panel with its passion and commitment to improving the diversity of its business, as well as the wider industry.

Over the past 12 months, the contractor has focused on capturing the hearts and minds of those both in and outside the business to make the industry a more inclusive place.

Working with the National Centre for Diversity, the company is striving to improve its knowledge and thinking around how to increase the diversity of its workforce. In the process, Carillion Highways has gained accreditations as Investors in Diversity and Leaders  in Diversity, which recognise the hard work the firm has done.

The judges were particularly impressed with Project SNOWE (Support Network for Operational Women Engineers), where women across the business can ‘buddy up’, sharing experiences, best practice and supporting each other through their careers. The panel thought this was an admirable initiative that really works to help support women progressing up the career ladder.

As well as within the business, the group has engaged all the way across its supply chain, and with its joint venture partners and clients, to raise awareness of the benefits that having a diverse workforce can bring.

The judging panel was suitably impressed, praising this outward-looking approach as “refreshing” to see. Carillion Highways managing director Duncan Elliott, a key figure in the business in driving forward the agenda, also demonstrated a clear passion and understanding of the benefits diversity offers his company.

“Carillion Highway’s innovative approach to recruitment has the potential to be ground-breaking”

Judges’ comment

Mr Elliott, who chairs the contractor’s diversity steering group, was highly “persuasive” that diversity wasn’t just a tick-box exercise for Carillion Highways. The firm’s approach to diversity is “real and authentic”, the judges said, and demonstrates a grassroots top-down approach to changing the company’s culture.

The contractor has tapped into the importance of incorporating diversity into its business model instead of viewing it as a philanthropic pursuit, showing its maturity towards improving diversity.

Carillion Highways has also sought to change the way it recruits people into the business. By making sure gender-loaded terms or language are removed from job adverts, Carillion Highways is aiming to attract a greater range of people into the recruitment funnel at the very start ofthe process.

The judging panel felt that Carillion Highways demonstrated a vision for a more diverse industry, adding that the contractor’s journey so far has been truly “inspirational”.


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