Danaher & Walsh (Civil Engineering) Ltd, Watkin Road Bridge, for the initiative: “Women in Construction – Watkin Road Bridge Replacement Scheme”
Workforce Overall Site Award
Changing the face of construction, Danaher & Walsh (D&W) have gone to great lengths to build an equal, diverse and inclusive workplace at its Watkin Road bridge replacement scheme in Leicester.
Discovering it only had 17 women in the business overall and 11 in operational roles, D&W began looking at ways to address the gender imbalance, defining measurable targets to attract new talent and embed inclusivity into its workplace culture.
D&W’s women in construction initiative included:
Gender diversity taskforce
Championing diversity and inclusivity to drive the long-term success of the project, a dedicated gender diversity taskforce was formed with representatives from different levels and departments across the business.
Fostering a culture that values diversity, inclusivity and unconscious bias, D&W appointed a fully trained FIR (Fairness, Inclusion and Respect) ambassador to inspire change and raise awareness.
Assessing hiring and employment practices to ensure they are fair and inclusive, the company is rewriting its policies to address potential bias and incorporate gender-neutral language.
By creating opportunities for young students and empowering its staff with the knowledge and accreditations to succeed, D&W have built relationships with local universities and colleges to fund graduate placements and apprenticeship schemes.
Encouraging its individuals to grow and learn with practical advice and 1-2-1 support, D&W is finalising a mentorship programme that will ensure all new women coming into the business will be assigned a female mentor.
Celebrating women in construction, the company is raising awareness in order to break traditional stereotypes by proactively showcasing female role models through case studies, articles in the press, and an outreach programme to schools.
The Watkin Road scheme has since boosted female representation with women now accounting for over half of its workforce onsite, and 7 supported through training and professional accreditation. By creating a diverse and truly representative workforce, D&W can leverage a range of skills and approaches to generate new ideas and improve problem solving.
This standout initiative recognises the crucial role women play in building our cities and takes a proactive approach to attract new talent through engagement, education and empowerment. Through its commitment to embrace diversity and fostering a welcoming, respectful and inclusive workplace culture, D&W are laying the foundations to encourage more females into construction and help bridge the skills gap in the industry.
The site is now a blueprint for other projects as D&W continue its mission to create an equal 50/50 gender workforce by 2027.
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