HS2 shows commitment to improve employment outcomes for BAME workers

Posted: 21 July 2020 | | No comments yet

HS2 Ltd has signed up to the Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter, an initiative designed to improve employment outcomes for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees in the UK.

HS2 shows commitment to improve employment outcomes for BAME workers

Credit: HS2 Ltd

With Britian’s new high-speed line project set to support 30,000 jobs at peak construction, HS2 Ltd is well-placed to play a leading role in embedding the principles of the Charter, which builds on the work of the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review, ‘Race in the Workplace’, which found that people from BAME backgrounds were still underemployed, underpromoted and under-represented at senior levels.

HS2’s public commitment to delivering on the Charter’s five key principles is driven from the top, with HS2 Ltd non-executive board member Judith Hackitt, appointed as Board Diversity Champion to scrutinise HS2’s equality, diversity and inclusion performance.

In signing the Charter, HS2 has set a clear commitment to:

  • Appointing an Executive Sponsor for race
  • Capturing data and publicising progress
  • Ensuring zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  • Making equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers
  • Taking action that supports ethnic minority career progression.

Judith said: “We have an amazing opportunity here to set the standards across the UK’s construction and rail engineering sectors. HS2’s supply chain will extend out to thousands of British businesses over the next decade, so this is a genuine opportunity for us to play a leading role in the implementation of measures that truly ensure BAME employees are fairly represented and have equality of opportunity to thrive in the workplace.”

The signing of the Charter coincides with the announcement that HS2’s Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Mark Lomas, has been recognised in People Management’s Top 20 Power List, which champions individuals across the country who have made the greatest impact on diversity and inclusion on the ground, whether through academic work, campaigning activities or speaking engagements.

Mark was recognised for spearheading several initiatives at HS2 Ltd and across its supply chain, which have been pivotal to the business’ success in addressing the underrepresentation of minority groups working in construction.

Mark said: “We’ve worked hard at HS2 to embed inclusive practices into everything we do and it’s an honour to be recognised for that. There is always more that businesses can do, and we’re committed to further developing our approach to ensure that HS2 is a workplace that attracts, invests and champions opportunities for BAME employees.”