Sam Price diversity
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION | 3 MIN READ
Morson was delighted to sponsor the Women in Rail #TransformTheFuture event last month.
Representatives from J Murphy & Sons spoke about how they made tangible improvements to their policies, working environments and marketing collateral to deliver an inclusive and accessible working environment.
In partnership with J Murphy & Sons, Morson was delighted to sponsor the Women in Rail #TransformTheFuture event last month. To celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, Women in Rail’s North West Group welcomed like-minded attendees to the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester to promote great initiatives and share ideas to encourage more women to consider a career in engineering and construction.
Organised by Women in Rail’s North West branch representatives; Jennifer McKinney, Head of Rail Infrastructure at Keolis Amey Metrolink, Daniela Cardoso, Senior Earthworks Asset Engineer at Network Rail and Claire Cronin, Head of Access & Integration at J Murphy & Sons.
Representatives from J Murphy & Sons spoke about how they made tangible improvements to their policies, working environments and marketing collateral to deliver an inclusive and accessible working environment. These changes included the use of diverse imagery across all J Murphy & Son’s media, CV anonymisation and unconscious bias training. Their London head office even has gender-neutral toilets.
Alastair Smyth, Managing Director of Engineering and Specialist Businesses, at J Murphy & Sons reinforced how it will be the collective force of organisations which will help to realise transformational change within the engineering and construction industry. In turn, we will deliver and retain diverse workforces which are representative of the communities in which they serve.
Inspiring future generations
There is a lot being done by organisations to inspire future generations into STEM. The Girls’ Network, an organisation which inspires and empowers young women from disadvantaged communities by connecting them with a mentor and a network of leading female role models, encouraged attendees to get involved with their mentoring scheme.
The importance of role modelling, highlighted by the Girl’s Network and Women Who Wonder, was reiterated by many of the panel members. Personal accounts from both panel’s detailed the positive and negative influence that female peers and those in senior leadership teams can have, demonstrating that role models are essential at every stage of a young person’s career. Role modelling will play an essential role in helping to encourage a diverse, next generation of talent into engineering, particularly considering that children in reception classes now could be working on the second phase of HS2.
The wider talent pool
Secondly, management as a skill is so important. It isn’t necessarily the best technical person who is best equipped to lead a team. This demonstrates the need to look at the whole talent pool to address the skills shortage, not just emergent talent (school and university leavers). It’s essential for companies to think about implementing mid-career apprenticeships, returner programmes and training which focuses on the individual if the industry wants to attract and retain a diverse workforce.
We need to promote positive action to widen the available talent pool such as introducing inclusive PPE, diverse imagery, gender-neutral language, clean welfare vans and most importantly, educate our co-workers about changing team dynamics as the makeup of their team changes.
Commenting on the success of the event, Gary Smithson, Associate Director said:
“What really struck me about this great event was the diversity of the audience with regards to gender split (60/40 female to male) and age range. For us, promoting role models and profiling successful women in the industry is a key factor in creating a more diverse workforce and inspiring future generations. I have seen first-hand a shift in the recognition of diversity amongst organisations, which is hopefully a signifier of real change."