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HS2 celebrate multiple wins at the enei 2017 awards

Category: Awards, equality, WORKPLACE, hs2, Employer, organisation, enei award

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HS2 Ltd were among the organisations recognised for inclusive and equal workplace practices at the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (enei) Awards 2017. HS2 Ltd is the public body tasked with delivering the UK’s high speed rail network. Currently directly employing 1,300 people, it is the largest infrastructure project in Europe.

The awards ceremony, which was held at The Law Society in London on 11th July 2017, celebrates organisations which display a dedication to good practice above and beyond legal compliance, and which use ground-breaking approaches to inspire other employers. Winning employers must have shown how they reacted to certain challenges, displaying definitive results, and proof of a substantial impact within the workplace.

HS2 won multiple awards on the night, including Overall Winner 2017 – Public Sector in recognition of their work in embedding diversity and inclusion into everything they do. As a brand new organisation, the HS2 EDI team consisting of Mark Lomas, Head of EDI, Marg Harris, EDI Communities & Engagement Manager, Osita Madu, EDI Supply Chain Manager, Ian Bettison, EDI Workforce Manager, Echomo Efeyini, EDI Officer, and Mark Dyer, Inclusive Design Lead, had to create and entrench the organisation’s equality strategy from scratch.

Creating new methods and systems to guarantee diversity and inclusion was fundamental to the project is why HS2 was also named winner of the enei Impact through Innovation Award. Pioneering measures allowed HS2 to lessen the impact of bias in recruitment from the very beginnings of the organisation, including the use of a blind audition system which tests the skills required by the role description and has resulted in BME shortlisting increasing from 13% to 50% and female shortlisting increasing from 17% to 47%.

HS2’s “street to seat” idea regarding design and operation of the railway has resulted in important testing to reduce accessibility barriers to disabled people. HS2’s dedication to ensuring that the platform and floor of the train are at the same level has already involved over 1,000 tests.

HS2 will be obtaining over £8 billion of consultancy design and construction contracts, and their attitude towards procurement has won them this year’s Inclusive Procurement award. HS2’s method of ensuring diversity in the supply chain includes asking diversity and inclusion questions for all tendered contracts irrespective of value and customisation of questions as appropriate. HS2 also gives contractors access to the HS2 EDI dashboard, which provides demographic data for every local authority area along the line of route. This method has seen the amount spent with diverse suppliers from BME, women, disabled and LGBT groups more than double.

The best organisations, such as HS2, acknowledge both the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce and the necessity to push themselves further along their journey in order to effectively compete in a global and national marketplace.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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Inclusive features

  • Gender Equality & Identity
  • Training & Development
  • Ex-Armed Forces & Veterans
  • Race, Ethnicity & Heritage
  • Staff Network Group
  • Social Responsibility (Charity/ Volunteering)

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