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Diversity and Inclusion

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For more videos exploring the careers of our inspiring female clients and co-workers visit our dedicated Women in Industry YouTube channel. Or join the conversion on LinkedIn.  Our group is a place to share knowledge, inspire change and shout about success, no matter what industry or sector you work in.

Welcome to the Morson diversity portal where you can find insights on attracting all generations recruitment, tips to be more successful and guides to inclusive leadership. We are committed to changing perceptions within business, championing women in engineering and empowering young talent through mentorship.

Adrian Adair, Operations Director at Morson, articluates why we're diversity and inclusion is core to Morson:

“There’s no denying that diversity achieves better commercial results by driving innovative ideas, changing the status quo and raising the bar for success. Yet it isn’t just as easy as attracting talent from underrepresented groups, as a business must also create working environments that champion equality and inclusivity from the inside out.

“We strive to ensure that our workforce represents our customers and society as a whole, which means recruiting from the widest talent pool and giving our people the tools, drivers and learning opportunities to reach their full potential, from entry to board level.

“We’re the only recruiter to commit to a target for increasing the number of female contractors that we employ and are using our own business as a sounding board to perfect our diversity initiatives and challenge stereotypes, so these can be rolled out to our clients to develop cultures that embrace change and ultimately outperform their peers.”

Diversity Champions

We are proud to be members of Stonewalls Diversity Champions programme. Stonewall are Europe's largest lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) charity. Diversity Champions is the leading employers' programme for ensuring all LGBT staff are accepted without exception in the workplace.

Morson aim to create a workplace where LGBT staff can be themselves, driving performance, engagement and innovation.  Through our involvement with Stonewall we aim to collaborate, learn and share cutting edge best practice and initiatives to enhance our ability to recruit diverse talent.


Inclusive Culture Pledge

At Morson we are committed to improving the diversity of our company and building inclusive cultures every day. Not only is this good for business, it’s also the right thing to do.  We aim to be a truly 21st century workforce, where everyone’s talents are welcomed, valued and nurtured.

 As part of this we are committing to the Inclusive Culture Pledge, a special initiative by diversity consultancy EW Group.  By signing up to EW Group’s Pledge, we will benefit from a year of dedicated support on five key aspects of diversity development: Leadership, People, Brand, Data and Future. Together this will provide a focus for building our skills, awareness,  confidence and maturity around workplace diversity over the course of 2020. In doing so, we are making a commitment, internally and outwardly, to the lasting importance of diversity and inclusion to our company culture. For more information visit https://theewgroup.com

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Our diversity and inclusion blog delivers the latest thought leadership, videos and content

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    Flying the flag for women in rail

    DIVERSITY | 4 MIN READ We chat to Anna Wooden who is flying the flag for women in rail working within Morson's rail division. Find out more about her flourishing career and how she says that working within a male-dominated industry only makes her even more determined to prove that women are equal to men when out on track. We’ve proudly been flying the flag for women in rail for numerous years as we deploy a number of initiatives and programmes to create equality within the industry, not just in terms of gender, but across all under-represented groups to establish true diversity and inclusivity. Anna Wooden is one of a number of hugely talented females working within our rail divisions. Her journey began on a 16-week training programme, with Anna’s keen eye for detail, work ethic and intuitive nature seeing her stand out. Working in an industry that’s male-dominated doesn’t faze Anna, and as the only female within her gang, she says this only makes her even more determined to prove that women are equal to men when out on track... “When I started out, I was especially determined to prove my capability. I was the only female in my training group and I wondered how many females actually worked on the railway, but I knew I was as good as anyone. I proved that I could do the job from day one and now no-one second guesses me." “I had never expected to work on the track – or even in this industry. It is tough and there’s no denying that the job is hard, but if you keep pushing at it, it will become easier. There is still some change to be done in rail but I do see the industry is on the cusp of transformation." “I would encourage more women to consider working in jobs like mine – I enjoy it and work good hours. Sometimes fear holds people back, both men and women. I really do think that some people within the industry, outside of Morson, still have a fear that a woman could come on track and do a better job than them.” Turning her hand to anything that comes her way, Anna was recently awarded a ‘Made a Difference’ accolade after successfully presenting to our biggest clients’ 150-strong track delivery unit. Anna’s line manager and operations manager, Chris Humphreys, added: “Anna’s ambition will lead her to one day becoming a Supervisor, something that will be a real milestone in both of our careers, as I’m yet in my 15 years in the industry to meet a female that leads track maintenance and track renewal gangs." “She’s a shining light in our industry and is breaking down barriers and changing the dynamics of females on track to hopefully inspire and encourage more women to seek a career in rail, because, without stars like Anna, the industry really is missing out. She’s well respected among her peers and I’m keen to see what bright future Anna will carve out within the sector.” For more information on Morson's commitment to diversity check out our Diversity Portal. Or to find your next opportunity search Morson jobs here.

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    Morson Sponsor R-Ladies Manchester event at Thoughtworks

    DIVERSITY EVENT | 2 MIN READ Morson was proud to sponsor the R-Ladies data event which was focused around creating diversity in data hosted by Thoughtworks. The mission of R-Ladies is to achieve proportionate representation by encouraging, inspiring, and empowering people of genders currently underrepresented in the R community. We spoke to Ellen from R-Ladies to find out more about the event. Morson was proud to sponsor the R-Ladies data event which was focused around creating diversity in data hosted by Thoughtworks. The event took place at the Thoughtworks offices, who are based in the Federation building in Manchester. Who is R-Ladies Manchester? R-Ladies Manchester was founded in 2016 and our mission is to promote gender diversity in the R community. The R community suffers from an underrepresentation of minority genders in every role and area of participation, whether as leaders, package developers, conference speakers, conference participants, educators, or users. TOP BLOG | From mum to management, postnatal depression and inspiring women into rail – Charlotte Curtis from First Group talks about her career As a diversity initiative, the mission of R-Ladies is to achieve proportionate representation by encouraging, inspiring, and empowering people of genders currently underrepresented in the R community. R-Ladies’ primary focus, therefore, is on supporting minority gender R enthusiasts to achieve their programming potential, by building a collaborative global network of R leaders, mentors, learners, and developers to facilitate individual and collective progress worldwide. Ellen from R-Ladies discusses the event in more detail… “The speaker for the evening was the brilliant Phrances Perez, who works at BookingGo as a Data Analyst. Phrances spoke about her important learnings in R and followed on from their previous event in August by building on our Shiny know-how, even more, talking about reactive functions. She also covered the important topic of version control and also some best practices - which I think we can all learn from! To keep the momentum going, we went straight into the second talk, the Hacktoberfest event. We at R-Ladies have teamed up with a tonne of other great groups from Manchester to host an all-day Hackathon event as part of the Hacktoberfest series of global events! It’s shaping up to be a really exciting day, with food, drink, live podcasting and of course, loads of coding! There was plenty of food and drink leftover to be eaten up, so we stopped to refill our plates before moving on to the discussion. Phrances’ talk sparked tonnes of interesting questions and we managed to stay on topic for the rest of the evening! We covered Stack Overflow, open-source software in big commercial organisations and how academia should change to incorporate interactivity into publications; all hot topics that got everyone joining in!” The event was a huge success and one that Morson was proud to be a part of. Stay tuned for more exciting collaborations with R-Ladies in the new year! For more information on Morson's commitment to diversity check out our Diversity Portal. Or to find your next opportunity search Morson jobs here.

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    Morson create inclusive teams with rainbow safety laces | Wear your laces with pride!

    DIVERSITY & INCLUSION | 6 MIN READ In September, we launched our Rainbow Laces campaign which saw hundreds of Morson track operatives working on the London Underground given rainbow-striped laces for their safety boots in celebration and support of the LGBT community. To celebrate Rainbow Laces Day 2019, we reflect on the successes of our Rainbow Laces initiative, find out more about the reaction on track and look to the future at what Morson is doing to create truly inclusive workforces. Our rail infrastructure is the framework which unites the UK. An exciting and varied industry, its clients and projects offer a wealth of employment opportunities for people of all backgrounds. That includes lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people. You’ll find people in your everyday lives who are out and open about their sexual orientation and gender identity. These individuals feel supported and empowered to work within our diverse industry. This is often down to the hard work of colleagues and role models at all levels of organisations. However, many lesbian, gay, bi and trans people continue to feel (and expect) that the rail industry may not welcome them. They often feel that it’s best to keep that part of themselves private or worry that people might react badly if they are found out. Gender stereotypes, bullying at school and a lack of visible LGBT role models create barriers which prevent young people and adults from being themselves and applying for roles within our sector. In September, we launched our Rainbow Laces campaign which saw hundreds of Morson track operatives working on the London Underground given rainbow-striped laces for their safety boots in celebration and support of the LGBT community. To celebrate Rainbow Laces Day 2019, we reflect on the successes of our Rainbow Laces initiative, find out more about the reaction on track and look to the future at what Morson is doing to create truly inclusive workforces. Gareth Morris, HSQE Director discusses the campaign: “The origin of our Rainbow Safety Boot Laces campaign initiated with our diversity partner, Stonewall. They put rainbow laces into sportswear to raise awareness of LGBT inclusion in sport. We’ve taken this simple yet prominent symbol of inclusion and delivered laces for safety boots to show that we’re visible allies of the LGBTQ+ community. So far, we’ve seen that it’s helped to encourage conversation in what its often seen as quite a macho environment. We want people to see that it doesn’t have to be like that and that things are changing.” The Government estimates 3.9 million people or 6% of the population identify as lesbian, gay or bi in the UK. It is estimated that 650,000 people, or 1% of the population identify as trans in Great Britain. Lesbian, gay, bi and trans people come from all communities and backgrounds including people of different faiths, people with disabilities and people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Sam Price, head of client engagement at Morson talks about the meaning behind the laces: “The LGBTQ+ pride flag, more commonly known as the rainbow flag, is a prolific symbol of allyship and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community. It’s universally recognised and most importantly, it unites people, which is exactly what we wanted to replicate with our Rainbow Laces initiative. If it starts a conversation that perhaps may not have happened, or we break down one barrier for one person who wasn’t considering a track operative career, then we’ve achieved success.” In addition to the laces forming part of the Operatives’ uniform, all contractors are being thoroughly briefed on the meaning behind the laces, whilst also receiving new training in fairness, inclusion and respect to encourage discussions and promote openness and acceptance. “We’ve provided our workforce with the education and tools to build awareness and support members of the LGBTQ+ community. The track environment has always been perceived as not accessible and we’ve challenged that, addressing it head-on” The reaction on track To find out more about the reaction on track, we spoke to Denis MacDonald who works night shifts as an HSE advisor at our Canning Town branch… “The track operatives they have fully appreciated why we are raising awareness of LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace. The laces have sparked conversation everywhere I have been, which I believe is great! Not only have we encouraged those to speak up on their views, which is the whole point of inclusivity in the first place; we have also shown that we do listen and are willing to follow the current trends and adapt where necessary.” “We work in a predominantly male industry (track teams) and the men I have encountered throughout my travels have been nothing but welcoming and encouraging of our rainbow laces campaign.” Stereotypes about lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in the workplace Stereotyping about sexual orientation, gender and gender identity affects who feels welcome in the workplace. Often these stereotypes are about reinforcing what forms of masculinity or femininity are seen as acceptable, and impacts all people, not just those who are LGBT. Gender stereotypes reinforce prejudice towards anyone who behaves or expresses themselves outside of what’s considered ‘normal’. An example of this is using expressions like ‘man up’ or ‘don’t be such a girl’. The idea of difference about lesbian, gay or bi individuals in workplace often focus on how they don’t fit traditional gender norms or gender roles in society. For example, to be a ‘real’ man you are masculine and strong, and to be a ‘real’ woman you are feminine and emotional. Using stereotypes like these both prevent people from being themselves in the workplace and send the message that being lesbian, gay, bi or trans is unwelcome or abnormal. Our mission is simple… Morson is committed to ensuring all of its candidates are encouraged to be themselves at work, driving performance, engagement and innovation. You have the power to be a positive influence in your working environment. When people feel like they can be open with those around them they perform better and can stop wasting energy hiding who they are. Gareth Morris, HSQE director discusses the internal reaction to our latest diversity campaign: “The internal reaction within the business has been one of interest. It’s become evident that we could certainly use this initiative in other sectors. At Morson we’re all working together, for that we need to have a common culture and common behaviours and the Rainbow Laces initiatives goes a long way to achieving that in regard to our diversity initiatives.” The laces are just one element of a wider commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion by Morson. Sam discusses Morson’s plans to expand the scheme and the next steps: “We are planning to expand the roll out from the London Underground across other major rail infrastructureVOL projects and we would like to implement the initiative beyond rail and look at the wider engineering industries such as construction” “We currently advertise our roles on Stonewall’s jobsite, Proud Employers, which is the only jobsite which caters exclusively for LGBT people and their allies. This allows us to reach out to a diverse pool of talent, finding candidates that can truly be themselves and reach their full potential. Stay tuned for more exciting projects with Stonewall in the new year!” Find out more about our Rainbow Laces campaign and read about our wider diversity and inclusion initiative here.

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    The Inclusive Culture Pledge 2020: Our Commitment to Building an Inclusive Culture

    DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION | 2 MIN READ Morson are proud to announce that we have joined leading companies from a range of sectors and industries in signing the Inclusive Culture Pledge in 2020, an initiative managed by diversity consultancy The EW Group. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is becoming increasingly important for both employers and employees. Research has shown that diverse businesses are 35% more likely to financially outperform their industry’s national average. For potential job hunters, 67% now consider a diverse workforce is an important factor when considering job offers. By signing up to the Pledge, we will have the support of the EW Group, a specialist in diversity and inclusion. Throughout the year, our staff will receive specialist support in leadership, people, brand, data and future. Joining the Pledge is a public commitment that we take diversity and inclusion seriously and that we understand the need to provide our employees with a safe, fair and supportive place to work. We’re looking forward to the events provided as part of the Pledge, which will build our internal capacity and ensure we work at the cutting edge of diversity and inclusion. This is an initiative that we believe will benefit our staff, customers and stakeholders. “Signing the Inclusive Culture Pledge for another year furthers our goal to deliver internal cultural change to combat negative, harmful gender stereotypes. With the support of organisations like the EW Group, over the last few years we have been able to achieve a shift in our organisational practice, culture and viewpoint and have been able to make headway in transforming our own talent pipeline and that of our clients. Our diversity strategy has sponsorship from executive board level and volunteer ambassadors from across the business have regular strategy meetings, as well as engaging with key stakeholders from our clients’ organisations. In 2020 we will be continuing our inclusivity journey to educate our workforce, support our clients and most importantly, inspire the next generation by sharing stories of success” – Sam Price, head of client engagement and Morson ED&I lead For more information about our diversity and inclusion initiatives visit our Diversity Hub, or to get inspired check out our Inclusive Role Models series.

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