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.
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.
Here 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 2018. 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
Our diversity and inclusion blog delivers the latest thought leadership, videos and content
Morson were proud to a sponsor the large organisation category of the third annual Northern Power Women awards ceremony held in Manchester this week. The awards celebrate the women and men working towards creating gender balance in organisations across the entire Northern Powerhouse. For Morson, sponsoring the awards shows how proud we are to work with so many inspiring, committed, intelligent and ambitious women. We recently pledged to double the number of females we have in engineering roles by the end of the decade, recognising that if we are to succeed as individuals, as teams, as companies and within industry we need to address the gender imbalance. The Northern Power Women awards showcases the proactive work being done towards creating a culture of accessible and visible opportunities for all. By supporting the awards, Morson celebrated the significant contributions of people and organisations who have improved workforce diversity within the North West. One such inspiring and committed Morson women is Sam Price, head of client engagement, who we’re incredibly proud to announce, has been added to the Northern Power Women Top 50 Future List. The future list recognises women who are influencers, leaders and change makers of the future who are already making a difference in their environments and communities. Leading Morson Group’s Equality and Diversity Champions Board and Women in Industry campaign, Sam has delivered a programme of transformational change within the business. Her commitment to improving gender balance through partnerships with organisations like the Girls’ Network, which empowers young females from disadvantaged communities to reach their aspirations, will leave a lasting legacy within the Morson Group. She has proven that diversity isn’t a buzz word, lip service won’t bring more diversity to male-dominated sectors but can-do kick-ass women like Sam just might, inspiring candidates & employers to embrace change. She champions both women in engineering and female talent within our business, positioning them as subject experts and trusted client advisors – which benefits our clients, candidate and employees. Speaking about being added to the future list, Sam commented: I’m truly honoured to be recognised in this year’s Northern Power Women‘s future list! The awards were a fantastic showcase of the proactive work being done towards creating a culture of accessible and visible opportunities for all. I’m chuffed beyond believe that my efforts and those of Morson International have been recognised. Thank you to everyone who’s supported me and collaborated with me as I’ve developed as a professional and champion of diversity of the workplace – I couldn’t have done this without you. I cannot wait to continue to #pressforprogress as we strive to futureproof our industries with diverse and inclusive workforces. Sam Price, head of client engagement, second from left to right.Find out more
Attracting a more diverse employee demographic has become a major priority for many organisations, particularly those in traditionally male-dominated sectors such as engineering, nuclear, IT and construction. But the drive to improve gender balance has to go beyond lip service or diversity targets; it must be embedded in a company’s employment culture. The starting point for a more diverse workforce is recruitment practices designed to select candidates on the basis of their individual attributes, talents and suitability for the role. Many companies may already believe they are fulfilling those criteria but entrenched gender stereotypes often result in subtle gender bias in job ads, job descriptions and person specifications. Research carried out by Totaljobs.com, involving a review of 76,000 ads over a six week period, found that job ads have an average of six gender-coded words; references which a study by the University of Waterloo in Canada and Duke University in the USA has identified as associated with gender stereotypes. What this means in practice is that many organisations – sometimes unintentionally – are weighting the language they use towards attracting either male or female applicants. And, according to the Totaljobs.com research, the issue not only involves a gender-stereotyped split between different sectors but also accelerates with seniority, with ads for roles with titles such as ‘director’, ‘partner’, ‘chief’ or ‘head’ often featuring substantially more male-biased language. So how can employers achieve genuine culture change within their organisations to ensure their recruitment reflects their diversity goals? The first step is to understand the subtle ways in which gender-stereotyping can impact on your recruitment, even if it’s subconscious. When it comes to job ads, there is now a specialist software tool available that has been developed to improve gender balance within ads. An augmented writing platform for job posts, Textio, analyses the hiring outcomes of more than 10 million jobs posts per month and has been proven to improve gender diversity in recruitment. The next is to be truly committed. We’ve already signed the ‘Inclusive Culture Pledge’ developed by diversity consultancy, EW Group, to help companies of all kinds to focus on areas of their business that will help them create a stronger working environment where diversity and inclusivity are prioritised and empowered. The move is designed to help us continue to implement the positive continuous change needed to achieve our goal of doubling the number of female contractors we hire by 2020. We’re not just enthusiastic about the positive difference we can make to workplace diversity within our own organisation; we’re driven by it. On 10th April we hosted a seminar with University of Salford at MediaCityUK entitled ‘Championing gender diversity and equality in the tech industry’. The free event took the form of a roundtable debate about diversity and equality in the technology sector and how organisations can collaborate to overcome challenges and capitalise on fresh opportunities. Gender diversity in the workplace has come a long way since the era of the typing pool and the all-male boardroom but there’s still a long way to go. At Morson, we’re clearly focused on making that positive change happen, for our own business and our clients.Find out more
In support of our partnership with the University of Salford, Morson sponsored Anisah K and Sarah McCormick to attend the Promoting Women in STEM conference before Christmas. Anisah, a BSc (Hons) Business and Management Studies with Professional Experience student at the University of Salford, gives us the lowdown on how the conference informed her latest research project on increasing the proportion of women in STEM subjects. When it came to my final year research project, I was captivated by the fact I had the freedom to choose a topic of my choice. I’ve always had an interest in how times have changed through the decades. I had so many interesting topics to choose from, from aviation to discrimination at work, from the stigma around mental health to wanting to research if there is a correlation between owning a TV in a developing country and fertility. But with my rational head screwed on tight, the feminist within wanted to touch upon gender diversity, and I ended up settling with Women in STEM. A topic I’m familiar with, but had to school my lecturers on as they’d never heard of the STEM acronym before. My research had to be ‘applied’ meaning it had to relate to a real life organisation, so what better organisation to choose than our very own University of Salford! I attended an event to speak to some first year female students within the Computer Science, and Engineering School where I met Rachel, the Maker Space Project Manager, and Sarah who’s Masters Dissertation is centred around the lack of women in STEM. Rachel then invited Sarah and I to attend a conference aptly named Promoting Women in STEM, which looked at necessary strategies to increase the number of women working in the UK STEM sector. Our tickets were kindly sponsored by Morson who are also working together with the university on Women in STEM projects. The conference took place at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. It seemed fitting as it’s the very place where Rolls met Royce – a company now making strides in the world of STEM. The day started off with a keynote speech by Helen Wollaston, the Chief Executive for The WISE Campaign. Helen shone a spotlight on the gender gap in STEM where ‘women are the minority from the classroom to the boardroom’, and also spoke about the People Like Me campaign which addresses the lack of girls in STEM subjects by showing them that people with similar personality traits are happy and successful working in STEM. Helen highlighted that out of 14,000 engineering apprentices, only 450 were girls, and women only open days increased applications from 10% to 15%. Following Helen, was another keynote by Kirsten Bodley, Chief Executive Officer for WES (Women’s Engineering Society). Kirsten spoke of hidden barriers and opportunity gaps which create a misbalance of gender and diversity. She also spoke of reducing imbalances by looking at every step of the recruitment process, and having men as allies championing the Women in STEM movement. Kirsty’s speech has a strong focus on mentoring, where WiBEC and Mentor SET could be used as an example to support women entering STEM and work in aiding retainment. Other speakers included Cristina Data from Ofcom who touched on why diversity in engineering is important. ‘Engineering is about problem solving and diversity of thinking helps approach problems differently to find new solutions’. Brenda Yearsley from Siemens talked about the lack of engineering graduates due to insufficient social mobility, and how early life choices can develop women into leadership roles. Brenda also articulated how ‘men apply for jobs when they have 80% of the required skills compared to women applying when they have 120% of the required skills’ – a statement that seemed to resonate with the women in the room! Nike Folayan from the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers mentioned not enough BAME are going through Russel Group universities and therefore not enough are filling jobs within STEM. She highlighted that ‘diversity attracts diversity’ in a similar way to the ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ analogy. Dr Emily Grossman talked about how she left STEM twice due to losing her confidence in the ‘macho’ environment, and her changed perception of her abilities rather than actually losing her abilities. She focused on compassion, collaboration and creativity to engage young girls who may be ‘sensitive’. Tom Welton from Imperial College London focused on inclusivity being the key to good leadership and that everyone across all levels has their own tiny responsibility. Finally, Liz Painter, STEM Co-Ordinator for Sandbach High School spoke of how she engages pupils through ‘STEM by stealth’ She gets students to think about if ‘engineers save more lives than doctors?’ and holds sessions where the girls get to make beauty products. She facilitated a trip to Houston next year for 28 students to take part in a 2-day workshop with NASA! If that doesn’t make STEM sound cool, I don’t know what does! I gained a lot from the conference, it provided me with a good foundation for my research. There were some brilliant inspiration gained from what other educational institutions are doing to encourage girls to pursue STEM – a few of which will definitely make their way into the ‘recommendations’ bit of my report where I can make suggestions to the university on how to facilitate the increase of women to STEM subjects. Watch this space! Click here to read more about the partnership between the University of Salford and Morson or join our Women in Industry LinkedIn group to share knowledge, inspire change and shout about success.Find out more
We are proud to announce that forces veteran Andy Reid is to become our first Morson Ambassador. Corporal Andy Reid lost both his legs and right arm after stepping on an IED plate whilst serving with the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment in Afghanistan in 2009. After spending only 2 weeks in hospital before returning home after his injury, Andy is a testament to overcoming adversity with a positive mindset. Andy was chosen as a Morson Ambassador as his determination, optimism and integrity means that he is a role model, not only for the ex-forces, but for the wider community. We are sure he will be an inspiration for our candidates, clients and staff. We chatted with Andy about his involvement with Morson and how he aims to use this to get more ex-forces personnel into employment. After speaking at Morson’s half yearly conference in Gleneagles last summer and thought it would be a great opportunity to be an ambassador for Morson Group as they employ a lot of veterans and do a lot of work with the ex-forces. Within Morson, their standards and values are high and fall in line with what I was taught in the armed forces. They really related across to me. Andy Reid joined Ged Mason, Simon Orange and 100 veterans at Sale Sharks to sign the Armed Forces covenant at a ceremony before the Sale v Saracens game last Friday. We asked him about his experience … Being alongside (Morson CEO) Ged and the other members of the armed forces at Sale Sharks to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, was absolutely fantastic. It was great for a club like Sale to get involved and get behind the armed forces. I would encourage any company to get behind the armed forces and sign the covenant to help support guys like myself and other veterans who are trying to move their lives forward. Andy also joined Morson representatives at the CTP event, hosted at the AJ Bell Stadium last week. The CTP helps ex-service personnel find a new civilian career and help employers recruit the best talent. We asked Andy about the ex-forces people he spoke to at the event and what their challenges were in the job market … At the CTP, the main thing I found from the veterans was the language barrier. We have military speak, where we know what we’re talking about to each other but the civilian worlds speak differently. I think it was useful for me to be a buffer on the other side of the desk for the veterans to have a quick chat with about their background and then pass them onto the Morson recruitment specialist who can offer them career advice. Morson are just at the start of exploring the Ambassador programme and we asked Andy how he hopes the relationship with Morson will develop and grow over the coming years… I hope to develop the relationship with Morson by meeting more of the employee’s. Hopefully helping to recruit more armed forces personnel. There’s a lot of guys out their who’ve got great skills and when they leave the armed forces some of those skills aren’t used anymore. I can see where within Morson Group those skills can be used. There’s a lot that the armed forces can offer when they leave service and Morson is an ideal place for them to explore that. Adrian Head, Morson client development manager, who knows Andy well explains why Andy Reid is such an inspiration and a great ambassador for Morson… Andy’s been through a lot of adversity himself, but he doesn’t lose sight of people who are less fortunate than he is. He’s able to connect with these people. He understands that coming out of a period of the navy, army or airforce and trying to transition across into civvy street can be difficult. Morson have a demonstrable track record of putting ex-forces people into work, assignments and permanent employment and we want to build on this. We want to put that something back and Andy is going to be able to help us do that. If you’re a veteran looking for employment get in touch with email@example.com or for more information go to our dedicated ex-forces employment page To search relevant jobs click hereFind out more
In Joe Gallagher’s sweltering Bolton gym, surrounded by training fighters like Anthony Crolla, Paul Butler and Callum Smith, we sit down with Miss GB Natasha Jonas, Great Britain’s female boxing ambassador and #TeamMorson athlete to discuss being a female role model, getting more women into the sport and how her two year old daughter knows when it’s fight night. “As a new mum and a first time mum, there’s so many things that you get told. You’re trying to do what’s best for them and not spoil them – give them what you can but not too much. You struggle with that for the first year or so. But once my daughter was in her routine I was left with a lot of time and thought, what I am going to do? So I decided to come back to boxing and it all fell into place!” Tash’s journey back to boxing, this time as a professional, after the birth of her daughter Mela couldn’t have gone much better so far. Since her comeback fight against Monika Antonik in June 2017, she has fought a further five times, all bouts resulting in comfortable wins. This has elevated herself to a new level within the sport. Tash recognises the importance of attracting more women into male dominated sports, and is only too aware of the platform from which she can now do this. “The opportunity is there for us now. We knew once the Olympic thing was over that people would get behind it and enjoy women’s boxing once they saw it at its elite level. It’s going to grow, and it’s good to be a pioneer in starting that. I don’t want it to be easy, I want it to be tough because then it means more and if it makes it easier for the women that are coming behind me then I’d rather it be tough. It’s good to be able to speak honestly and truthfully about the sport I’m involved in and try and make it better for the women coming through. I’d rather take it on my shoulders and do the graft and the hard work and break down a couple of barriers.” Being a female role model isn’t something that Jonas anticipated would happen, but it’s clear in her popularity that this is exactly what she has become. “I do get people on social media wishing me well and saying that I’ve inspired them. – coming to the gym just to take photos. It’s a lovely feeling and it’s not something I ever thought would be. It’s an honour and pleasure to be someones idol and be looked up to. I didn’t really think of myself as a role model until after the Olympics, when I looked back and thought, ‘wow we really did something great there and I was part of something’. In the moment, I didn’t think like that. To me I was just a boxer doing what I do and trying to do my best.” Her two year old daughter is also quickly becoming her biggest fan, too, and Tash is pleased to be one of her early “She’s got her routine and I’ve got mine! Obviously she sees me on the TV. I went home with my traditional two braids and she said “mummy’s boxing” – so she knows that my braids mean it’s fight night! I’m just happy that she can see me doing stuff that’s not conventional. If you’ve got a dream and you believe yourself and work hard and try your best, you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”Find out more
“If I’d listened to my teachers at school, I might never have ended up in an engineering career,” says Nicola Cole, aviation repair and design engineer at Leonardo. “But being told at 14 that I wasn’t bright enough for a science-based career made me more determined to succeed in one and, 34 years after I started as an apprentice in the electrical design department of an aviation specialist, I still love my job and I’m still glad I made the choices I did.” Nicola first decided that she wanted to be an engineer when she started spending her weekends tinkering with cars at the age of 12. O Levels in Physics and Chemistry put her on the path to an apprenticeship and, 18 months later, she made her first move as a contractor and has never looked back. “Contracting has given me the flexibility to work on projects that interest me and work in different locations,” Nicola continues. “I worked in Canada for a while and currently I am working for the Leonardo Helicopter Division in Yeovil, where we’re repairing a military helicopter that suffered a heavy landing in the desert and rolled on its side. “My job is all about finding solutions that will work, combining my experience and knowledge with the expertise in the team to bring the aircraft back into service. On this project, we’ve taken a helicopter that arrived in the workshop in five pieces and re-built it using parts from other aircraft, effectively creating a hybrid that will fly just as effectively as the original.” Nicola was contracted at Leonardo specifically for the current helicopter repair project she’s involved with but can already see an opportunity to work on similar future projects with the company. As is often the case, she is the only woman in both the office and the workshop, but being the only female member of the team doesn’t faze her. Indeed, she has seen big changes in terms of the number of female engineers rising through the ranks during the course of her career. Nicola continues: “When I first started in the industry, women often weren’t taken seriously because there was an assumption that you would eventually leave the company to start a family. That just isn’t the case anymore and the job is so interesting and rewarding that women return to work and handle the challenges of juggling work and family because they enjoy their job and want to continue their career. “There’s still more to be done to encourage increased diversity in the sector. Much of it is to do with misconceptions about what the job actually involves. A lot of young women considering a career like mine assume it will be very physically demanding whereas, in fact, it’s much more about problem solving and using your technical knowledge because all the lifting in the workshop is done by advanced machinery.” While Nicola believes there needs to be more diversity in recruitment of engineers to the aviation sector, there has been no shortage of variety in her own career. In addition to providing her with opportunities to travel and work overseas, Nicola’s career has included contracts working on initial design of transmissions, mechanical systems, electrical systems, structures and many more areas of aircraft as well as repair and refurbishment, both rotary and fixed wing. Over her 30+ year career, she has seen considerable change in the way that projects are delivered, with the hand-drawn hard copy engineering drawings she used in her early career making way for CADAM design technology, then 3D programs. She explains: “New technology and systems are making the role much easier. It’s now virtually just one screen that shows me all the information needed to design parts in situ knowing the surrounding structure.” More than three decades after Nicola first started her career, she still loves the challenge of her hands-on engineering role. She adds: “I broke the mould of my girls’ grammar school by choosing a career path that wasn’t considered very ‘ladylike’ at the time. Thank goodness those stereotypes are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Hopefully, today’s increasingly diverse and inclusive outlook will enable more women to spend their days clambering on a helicopter and bringing five broken pieces back from the brink as a single serviceable aircraft like I do, because it’s such a challenging and fulfilling job.” Morson are the UK’s No.1 Aerospace Recruiter and have some of the best opportunities in the industry. To find your opportunity in aviation, search our latest jobsFind out more
In support of our partnership with the University of Salford, Morson sponsored Anisah K and Sarah McCormick to attend the Promoting Women in STEM conference before Christmas. Sarah studies MSc Human Resource Management at the University of Salford, read about her experience below: I was fortunate to be invited to a recent conference on Promoting Women in STEM organised by Inside Government, with top draw keynote speakers from the worlds of education, industry and professional organisations. As well as an opportunity to network, the event highlighted the key themes affecting women in STEM. A consistent message came through of the role that we can all play in encouraging and supporting women considering or already working in the sector and the need to challenge behaviour that places barriers in front of the great opportunities available. I am not a STEM student but having worked in the STEM sectors for nearly 20 years I have noted the gradual but encouraging increase in Women in STEM areas. The figures are still concerning however, as the first speaker Helen Wollaston, Chief Executive of the WISE Campaign, highlighted in her presentation on the gender disparity in vocational training. Only 7.5% of successful STEM apprentices are female but WISE Campaign initiatives such as the Apprentice Toolkit and People like me are clearly making a difference. The next speaker Kirsten Bodley Chief Exec of Women’s Engineering Society highlighted why gender parity in the STEM sector, especially engineering, is so important. I was surprised by the huge disparity between the supply of qualified apprentices entering female dominated fields such Health and Social care and Beauty and the jobs available to them. There are only 18k jobs available to the 100k+ graduating apprentices, a virtual reverse of the situation facing the often better paid Construction and Engineering Apprentices. It clearly in the interests not only of the sector but of individuals themselves to explore STEM career. Kirsten also provided some very practical advice that companies and educational institutions can take to improve gender balance. By re-evaluating the qualifications needed for a course UCL were able to increase the number of female participants from 21% to 29%. This is getting close to the 30% target of women in Engineering that WES has set for 2030. As a MSc HRM student a key message for me came from Nike Folayan, Chairperson for the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers who highlighted that it is not the role of HR alone to tackle diversity and inclusion within an organisation, it has to come from leadership. This was evident from the case studies presented throughout the day from companies such as Ofcom and Siemens as well as educational bodies such as Solihull College. In each case change and progress required people from across the organisation stepping up, volunteering, modelling and leading. Cases such as a teacher giving up their Easter holiday to go on work experience so that they have a better understanding of industry to advise their students or STEM ambassadors challenging stereotypes in the classroom demonstrate the kind of leadership needed. Everyone has a role to play and it was encouraging to spend a chilly wet day in Manchester with a room full of people from across the sector who are working hard to encourage women to realise their potential within STEM. Thank you, University of Salford Maker Space and Morson, for the opportunity to attend Promoting Women in STEM. Click here to read more about the partnership between the University of Salford and Morson or join our Women in Industry LinkedIn group to share knowledge, inspire change and shout about success.Find out more
To celebrate International Women’s Day 18 we spoke to several women in our organisation, from a range of disciplines and job roles, about their careers, challenges and proudest achievements. Each interviewee made a personal pledge about how they will #pressforprogress to actively promote women and girls over the coming year. Becky Veal, Head of Department Having joined Morson Projects just over two years ago, I am responsible for the business activity within the southwest, based at Morson Projects Yeovil office. Overseeing key accounts such as Prime Supplier to Leonardo Helicopters Customer Support and Services division. I hold 15+ years’ experience in the recruitment, engineering and technical publications field. Experience includes Managing Director for Polysource Global a recruitment company, and Programmes Director at Milsom Industrial Designs Ltd, overseeing 4 offices in the Southwest with 200+ contractors running offload packages of work for Leonardo Helicopters and other key clients. What challenges have you faced in your career? Building from scratch and overseeing an engineering recruitment business. This was certainly a huge learning curve which gave me exposure to many new arenas of running a business. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Winning Prime Supplier Status at Leonardo Helicopters for the customer support & services division How are you going to #PressForProgress? I believe it is important we nurture confidence in girls from a young age, as often they are underestimated by others and start to underestimate themselves which can erode their confidence. My pledge as a woman is to promote speaking confidently, take risks, and own our accomplishments, through these actions we will set positive examples for both woman & girls to follow. Ana Miletic, Process Project Engineer I am process/project engineer dealing with multidisciplinary vendor packages; I am currently working on an energy from waste plant. My role involves producing technical specifications, preforming technical bid evaluations and selecting vendors based on multidisciplinary requirements. Further to this, I am responsible for coordinating design activities in a multi discipline environment (Mechanical, Process, Electrical, 3D Plant, Stress, Control and Instrumentation) and reviewing vendor documentation and design. Until now I have lived and worked in 4 different countries and speak fluently in 4 languages; Serbian (mother tongue), German, Norwegian, English. I started my career in the oil and gas industry and transferred to renewable energy. What challenges have you faced in your career? New environment, new language, new country… just to name a few. One of the biggest was when I moved to Norway with a 9 month old baby to start new job. I had signed a contract and a day before I was due to start they phoned me up to let me know the project had been put on hold, and I wouldn’t be needed the next morning. It took lots of courage to stay positive, look forward and face new challenges and opportunities. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? I am proud to be where I am now and do the job I am doing. As I was born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia I grew up with sanctions, visas and air strikes and it was hard work. It has taken good University knowledge and lot of strength and belief to come to this point – I can proudly stand up for women in engineering and explain you can do whatever you want – just follow your dreams and believe in yourself and never give up. How are you going to #PressForProgress? Do what you love to do and be the best version of yourself – everyone will recognise and appreciate that. I am also hoping to be a role model to other women and I am actively involved in Women in engineering actions, and through Morson I am working with schools to promote Women in STEM. Leanne Worrall, Bid Manager I started with Morson Projects over 11 years ago, originally supporting the Project Management department. After a couple of months I moved into the Business Development department as a Bid Administrator supporting with the production of PQQ’s and bids. The company sponsored me through a degree in Business Management and using this knowledge I worked my way up to my current role of Bid Manager looking after in excess of 500 bids each year. What challenges have you faced in your career? The biggest challenge I have faced is working within an engineering environment with little engineering or technical knowledge. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? My greatest achievement would be starting from the bottom and working my way up to becoming the bid manager for Morson Projects, being respected as an equal even without having much engineering knowledge. How are you going to #PressForProgress? I aim to remove barriers for women in the workplace by being a champion of other women and celebrating their individual or collective successes Marie Wright, Financial Director I lead our finance team in supporting the business to maximise financial performance, minimise financial risks, and meet financial obligations. We achieve this by working with our engineering departments and support colleagues using tailored controls, systems and reports. My finance career began with training to be a Chartered Certified Accountant, then I climbed the career ladder through financial roles in a variety of industries and business classes. It has been an adventurous climb, with challenging ups and downs along the way, often fun and ultimately rewarding. What challenges have you faced in your career? Juggling work and motherhood, I have had to push for flexible working options that have allowed me to progress my career whilst successfully raising two children into their teens, a significant challenge given that my eldest is autistic. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? I have mentored several trainees, mostly women, who are now qualified accountants with brilliant careers. How are you going to #PressForProgress? I aim to remove barriers for women in the workplace by being a champion of other women and celebrating their individual or collective successes Sophie Williams, Commercial Manager As the Commercial Manager at Morson Projects I’m responsible for all commercial activities for the company. I manage a team of 5 individuals and my role includes overseeing day-to-day operations and focusing on the long-term interests of the business ensuring profit margins are met or exceeded for all departments. I started my career as an Operations Support Officer assisting the Operations Manager with HR duties, office management and purchasing. I then progressed through the company to a Project Support Role and Project Support Manager. What challenges have you faced in your career? Sometimes age has impacted the viewpoints of others on my capabilities – I believe age is not a concern as at any age you can demonstrate your capabilities in your day to day tasks and this is what you should be assessed on. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Studying whilst working full time – managing to fulfill my work commitments as well as undertaking an MSc/MBA and maintaining my sanity! How are you going to #PressForProgress? I try to encourage the women I manage to excel in their careers and fulfill their potential. I believe that it is not only my personal ambitions that are important but also those of other women – it prompts succession planning and demonstrates support for females in the workplace. Alison Charles, Pipe Stress Engineer During my employment at Morson Projects I have worked on various projects in the aerospace, nuclear and civil engineering sectors. My current role as a Pipe Stress Engineer involves calculating local stresses in a pipeline in order to define or approve the required pipe specifications, determine support types, and to ensure that any connecting equipment is able to withstand the effects of the piping forces and moments. What challenges have you faced in your career? In my experience I haven’t felt any additional challenges or pressures purely due to being a female in a male-dominated working environment. I look to my male colleagues for advice and support on a daily basis and they are always willing to help. I understand why women who don’t work in a male-dominated environment would ask the question. However, due to the career path that I chose – studying Maths, Physics and IT at A-Level, and then going on to study a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering – I have been studying/working in male-dominated environments for a long time. I think it’s important that people these days understand that there is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to being a minority in the office – many people in that office will share similar interests due to their line of work, and it is especially important that women aren’t put off engineering by assuming the working environment would be inferior to any other office job. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? My greatest personal achievement is running the London Marathon. I dedicated months to researching, planning and training in order to be able to make the most of the experience on the day. How are you going to #PressForProgress? I currently volunteer with the Girl Guides in the hope that I can engage their interest in STEM subjects through the different activities we run and also to encourage the girls to be confident and ambitious in whatever takes their interest. Follow @MorsonGroup on Twitter to get involved with #pressforprogress and keep up to date with our diversity and inclusion activities. Join our Women in Industry on LinkedIn and become part of the group to share knowledge, inspire change and shout about success.Find out more
Following on from our series of thought-provoking roundtable events, which have so far debated HS2’s SEE Outputs and the Year of Engineering, the latest instalment shone a spotlight on gender bias and diversity within the technology industry, including the impact it is having today and what can be done to futureproof the work of UK trailblazers. The discussion panel, brought together in partnership with the University of Salford, comprised of professionals and innovators from the Manchester Airport Group (MAG), BBC, Siemens, Women in the Law UK and Think Money Group. Diversity, equality and inclusion are three codes that the tech industry is yet to crack. Currently, just 17% of tech roles are filled by women, with the sector suffering a lack of representation from hard to reach groups and communities, including different races, sexualities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This imbalance is affecting most UK businesses, with all parties in unanimous agreement that diversity is a present-day issue and that if we don’t make big changes today and work to close the gap, then UK PLC will decline from a dip in productivity, profits and commercial ability. Maria Stukoff, director of the Morson Maker Space at the University of Salford, said: “I cannot believe that in 2018 we are still having to talk about the subject of diversity and inclusion. We can all see the skills gaps and issues within our own organisations and departments but few people are talking about the how and why. “My role is to identify the jobs and careers of the future and how we retrain people to create new things, solve issues and develop new collaborative partnerships. We work closely with the Morson Group to build new talent pipelines and especially in attracting more young women into technical careers.” The event’s first presentation, delivered by MBE Leanne Cooke, CEO and founder of Evolve-IT Consultants, kicked off the debate by examining gender bias and how the root of the problem begins at birth. “Boys are more inclined to be interested in STEM subjects because they tend to grow up with scientific toys, whereas girls are given kitchens and pink things,” explains Leanne. “As soon as they reach primary school, they already have an awareness of gender bias because of the toys they’ve grown up with and these perceptions are rarely challenged by their teachers.” “We need to change the mentality of young people to embrace technical interests and aspirations, which requires more input from teachers. Young people learn about IT and technology in schools but they don’t see what careers are available beyond the games and devices.” The group mutually agreed that teachers do not have enough experience and visibility outside of education as they have always remained in a school environment throughout their training and career. Providing teachers with the tools and insights to become STEM ambassadors and promote the benefits of apprenticeships and on-the-job training is a common theme that has appeared throughout every roundtable table so far, regardless of the topic or sector. Leaving it until secondary school age is often too late, as young people are already heavily influenced by their peers, parents and teachers. “Whilst apprenticeships are great and more must be done to promote the benefits to young people, their parents and businesses, there’s still the immediate problem of the present day skills gap,” continues Leanne. “The only way to solve this is to focus less on experience and look for people with the right transferable skills and a desire to learn. The last two people I’ve recruited got the job based on their attitude and will, and they’ve been the best new recruits that I’ve had in a long time.” Leanne was one of a number of participants to give a present-day example of how they’ve needed to go offshore to find the right skillsets, sourcing talent and support from Eastern Europe and the US, for example. Unconscious bias training was highlighted as one effective solution to improving the pipeline of talent and boosting diversity. This popular approach reduces natural bias and prejudice of people by highlighting individual skillsets and expertise within the candidate recruitment process and removing any identifier of the person’s age, race, sex, location or background. Sam Price, head of client engagement at Morson International, explained: “Anonymising CVs is empowering our clients to build a more diverse workforce by recruiting the right person for the job, regardless of their individual attributes. “A few clients were already implementing unconscious bias programmes but failing in their approach, because they were deemed as short-term solutions. Empowering businesses with the tools to succeed is making waves, especially through the use of diversity data. For example, if we’re sending a diverse shortlist of candidates yet none of these are making the cut, then we can see that there’s clear issues within the hiring manager and change is needed.” Ben Fitzgerald, head of professional services and IT at Morson International, added: “There’s also a big problem in that technology has evolved quicker than commerce and many businesses still expect certain standards. All organisations want superstars and not enough are taking chances on excellent candidates with plenty of ability and will, who can be taught the required technical skills. There are lots of capable and unemployed developers, for example, who are being overlooked by organisations.” This belief was echoed by Chris Joynson, talent & resourcing partner at MAG who explained that certain departments still look for particular candidate backgrounds, for example, finance requires its team to have experience in one of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms; something which it is working to address. The Morson Group is committed to pressing for equality, diversity and inclusion within all sectors. We recognise the benefits that a diverse workforce brings for our own business and those of our clients, including innovation, higher commercial earnings and increased productivity. In addition to partnering with the Girls’ Network’s Salford division to encourage young women across Salford to fulfil their aspirations by giving them the tools, connections and confidence to pursue their dreams, Morson International has pledged to double the number of female engineers that are employed by 2020. Attendees were divided in the effectiveness of quotas and whether there is a need to legislate to deliver effective change. There was a feeling that introducing quotas would bring the impression that those from underrepresented groups, in particular females within male-dominated sectors, were only being employed because of their gender and not their skillset and ability. Diane Kennedy, vice president of strategy, architecture and planning at BP and the event’s second speaker, voiced her backing for quotes, explaining that change within large organisations like BP simply wouldn’t happen unless it was a requirement and something that staff were held accountable for. Diane explained: “My quota is to increase diversity within my own team to 25% by 2022. Three years ago, this figure stood at 11% and I’ve worked hard to reach 18% today. There are hundreds of ongoing initiatives within BP to challenge and boost diversity because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Working with schools at primary school through to university age, apprenticeships, return to work programmes and flexible working are some initiatives that have proven really successful. “We also have a top-down policy to drive behavioural change, with inclusion now one of the top five priorities of BP’s chief executive. This shows how important creating an inclusive environment is and even goes as far as saying that the annual bonus you receive will be impacted on how effective the cultural change is within your team and achieving its quotas.” A number of excellent examples that BP use to attract applicants from underrepresented groups included simple and more concise CVs and changing the language used to ensure it is not gender biased. Whilst the oil and gas giant adopts a top-down approach diversity, the room was torn as to whether this cultivates better behavioural change than bottom up. Regardless, everyone was in complete agreement that diversity fosters greater success and profitability and it is an issue that needs addressing today and the right strategies putting into place to overcome both the short and long-term industry needs. Together with sister company The Bridge, Morson International has seen its IT division double year-on-year in the response for top talent. Operating from 50 countries around the globe, it delivers diverse skillsets and candidates, and works in partnership with clients to implement the right techniques and methods to embed diversity within their own culture and bring real change. For more information, contact Sam Price, head of client engagement at Morson International at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have your say in the debate by tweeting us using the hashtag #RecodingDiversity and remember to tag in @MorsonGroup.Find out more
Whilst many people wouldn’t necessarily associate engineering with travel, the world is her oyster for Ana Meek, as a career path in chemical engineering has already enabled her to live and work in five different countries by her early thirties. There are engineering hubs and centres of excellence located around the world and Serbian-born Ana has already worked in Germany, Norway and the UK. Her current role as a chemical process engineer for Morson Projects sees her part of a global team working in partnership to design a new Energy from Waste (EfW) plant in Derby. “I had no idea what I wanted to be growing up in Belgrade, apart from becoming president of course!” explains Ana. “I chose chemical process engineering because there were so many industries and jobs that it could lead me into, such as working in a lab or being a commercial manager or designing plants in different industries. If I didn’t like something then I could just easily switch into another direction, and it was this flexibility that really appealed to me.” Working in engineering has given Ana so many exciting opportunities but globetrotting hasn’t been without its challenges. Ana continues: “I’d moved to Norway with my nine month old baby to start a contract with a new company and the afternoon before I was due to begin, I got a call the client saying that the contract had been put on hold. I was gobsmacked as I’d left a permanent job in Germany and moved to another country for this role. I waited for a while to see if it would start back up again but after a few weeks it wasn’t looking good and I began looking for a new role.” With a strong technical skillset, it wasn’t long before Ana was snapped up by another firm. Initially working in oil & gas in Germany, Ana had moved to Norway to work in the same sector, but the years that followed saw the oil prices crash and the industry go into decline. Ana continues: “No one could have predicted this as oil & gas was such a leading sector. I recognised it was a time to change the sector and moved to renewable energy. Luckily I found the new job and started working on Energy from Waste plants. Unfortunately, the company ceased trading after few years, but Morson Projects, who were our design engineers at the time, needed additional support and offered me the chance to develop my role in the UK.” Fast forward to today and Ana is single-handedly managing multiple global vendors who are working alongside Morson’s design consultancy arm to deliver the new Energy from Waste plant. This complex role involves coordinating the different design packages to make sure everyone is working to the same, evolving specification. A typical day for Ana includes producing engineering documentation and technical specifications, technical bid analysis, liaising with procurement to price up schemes, as well as managing technical issues and finding solutions to ensure everything is aligned and safe. Ana continues: “There’s nothing more satisfying than when you get on site and see the real scale of what you’ve been designing. I’m like a proud parent and the project is my baby. It’s been four years since the initial contract was signed and we’re now just at the commissioning stage and the plant start-up will follow in few months’ time. “This is one of the difficulties in showcasing the appeal of engineering, because a lot of younger people, especially, want to see results straight away. Projects can take years in developing and design and I was actually asked by a primary school pupil why it takes so long when Apple can bring out a new iPhone every year? My answer was that this plant will operate for next 30 years and it is not possible to get the new updated plant next year, which is the case with your iPhone. Projecting a plant is also a much more complicated task as there are more than 40 different packages of equipment involved and a worth of more than £65m – much more expensive than an iPhone. “I also think that the industry needs to be more aligned to creative thinking. I understand the need for tight government regulations around renewables and waste, but there are few opportunities for people to challenge the norms and really innovate within the sector. “Despite this, my advice to anyone who is considering engineering would be to go for it. It was absolutely the best decision I ever made in life and if I could do it all over again, I would choose exactly the same career path.” For more information on Morson's commitment to diversity check out our Diversity Portal. Or to find your next opportunity search jobs.Find out more
Morson caught up with professional boxing star and #TeamMorson ambassador Natasha ‘Miss GB’ Jonas on a rare day off. Tash spoke openly about her career ambitions and her most important and challenging role, being a mum. Only in her early 30’s Natasha has already had an impressive amateur boxing career and an entry in the record books, becoming the first female British boxer to fight in the Olympic Games in 2012. After turning professional she has had massive success, sensationally beating Taoussy L'Hadji earlier this year at the Echo Arena in her hometown of Liverpool. But, in true Tash style, she’s hungry for more. “I’d box anywhere as long as it’s a good place, I wouldn’t mind boxing in Madison Square Gardens! The plan has always been the same as it was when I was an amateur, just to be the best boxer that I possibly can be. I think I’ve proved that I’m world-class level so I want go for the world titles and I want to get them as quickly as I can do.” As part of the BBC Get Inspired programme, Tash, is part of a movement which actively promotes sport and boxing for women. She believes that there has been a shift and less focus is placed on sexualising women in sport, consequently, she enthuses that “it’s a great time for boxing and to be a part of the Matchroom set up to be honest.” As a working mum, Tash has been very open about how sport has helped her confidence and it’s these traits that she is keen to pass down to her daughter. “Like my mum did, I just think I will encourage her to be active because I think that there are lots of other things you can learn from that, other than the skill of boxing or the skill of football. You know, I learnt how to work in a team, I learnt how to communicate, I had confidence and I was physically active.” In a final statement, Tash said: “I want to make a mark and let them know I was there.” Watch the video to see the full interview. To keep up-to-date with the latest sporting news from our #TeamMorson ambassadors, follow our twitter page @MorsonGroup and Instagram @weare_morsonFind out more
The Diversity Hut has become the latest enterprise to receive support from Morson and Vital for the inspirational work that it does and in turn, is using its unique experience and insight to foster a more diverse workforce and culture of inclusivity throughout the Group. Led by founder and social entrepreneur, Usman Shah, Diversity Hut taps into hard to access communities, cultural and religious groups to find talented individuals seeking skilled employment opportunities, and match them with businesses who believe in and value the benefits that a workforce that represents society will bring. So tell us what inspired you to set up the Diversity Hut? I grew up in Newham - one of the most diverse London boroughs but also has the highest unemployment rate - in a typical Asian family who believed that to be successful in life, you had to become a doctor. I did a month of work experience for a construction firm and they were so impressed that I received a full scholarship to study quantity surveying at university - without any backing or support from my family. I then went on to work for Costain, where I won a number of national awards and became amongst the youngest BAME professional in the world to become chartered in quality. Yet working in this industry made me really notice the lack of diversity, which became the driving force behind the Diversity Hut. What makes the Diversity Hut different? There are lots of organisations talking about diversity but I wanted to actually walk the walk, not just talk the talk. My goal is to change people’s perceptions of diversity and enable them to see that being diverse or a minority isn’t a disadvantage, but rather an advantage that provides empowerment and strength. We are also a social enterprise as I didn’t want to profit off of what we did or make ourselves into a charitable cause, as that’s not the intention and brand that I wanted to build. Describe a typical week? As well as the Morson Group, I work with a number of leading engineering and construction companies, including many of Morson’s clients, to train them in the best diversity and inclusion techniques and methods. I’ve so far trained more than 130 people in unconscious bias, cross-cultural management and thought leadership. In addition to improving knowledge and understanding of the value of diversity, we’ve also become a leading broker of skilled, diverse staff for technical sectors. I look for potential employees in places that other businesses do not go, such as churches, mosques, community groups and charities. We’ve created 43 new jobs, and more than half of those were previously unemployed or going into work for the first time. Click here to download your copy of Morson's Safety Matters magazine Summer 2018 to read more about our involvement in the community and much more.Find out more