Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity in Engineering

diversity in engineering

We sat down to talk to Major Projects Quality Director at Balfour Beatty, Amanda McKay, to discuss her varied career and the challenges she faces as a transgender woman >

EMMA JAYNE GOOCH Head of Supply Chain Development & Innovation at Sellafield explains why there should be more women at board level >

Inspirational People Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges

Morson prides itself on being an equal opportunities employer that provides an inclusive environment to candidates and employees alike. We believe that diversity of thought promotes
innovation by bringing multiple perspectives to discussions and decisions.

In 2017 we launched our women in engineering pledge to double the number of female contractors by 2020 (on Women in Engineering day 2017 this stood at 7.5% of our contractor population).

We regularly profile the success stories of females within our industry highlighting the wide variety of careers in engineering and importantly, changing the perception of our industry from that of a male-dominated one to an inclusive and change-making industry.

We have been privileged enough to interview some of the most talented women in the engineering industry, exploring their career paths, challenges and inspirations to highlight the careers available to the next generation. 

Latest articles

► Balfour Beatty's Amanda McKay Talks LGBT Diversity in Engineering

► Senior Systems Engineer at Thales, Estel Dandridge, Talks Us Through Her Involvement in Developing Aria Technology with Oman Air

► Morson Vital Training and the Girls Network spark engineering interest in a new generation of young people | #CareersOnTrack

►  Morson Sponsor the Big Rail Diversity Games

► Jet-setting Chemical Engineering Career Sees Anna Travel the World


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Our YouTube channel explores the varied career's of some of our industry's most inspiring individuals, or continue to our diversity and inclusion blog to get the latest thought leadership, videos and content. 

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    Will COVID-19 Enhance Inclusive Working Practices?

    Usually, culture change and the evolution of behaviours that support improved equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) happen gradually, over a prolonged period. But in these unusual times, changes to the way we work have not only been huge, they have also been instant, creating a need to adapt that’s already affecting ED&I in some surprising and thought-provoking ways. For some, working from home, at least for part of the working week, would have been a choice long before Government advice and social distancing regimes made it a reality. Often, however, workplace practices are often not tailored around the needs of the individual but around the needs of the company and the whole team. Consequently, those with other responsibilities, such as children or elderly relatives, find themselves balancing their work and life roles around an office schedule. One of the outcomes of the COVID-19 situation is that our new working reality has demonstrated that old working conventions do not have to be set in stone. Perceptions of value have shifted from the person who spends the longest day in the office to the person who is the most productive, despite the challenges of working from home and delivering projects as part of a physically disconnected team. This period of unorthodox working has taught us that unorthodox can work well. For example, it has given those who are most creative late at night the chance to allocate their most productive hours of the day as working time, and those who juggle work and family now have the freedom to work around all their responsibilities. For those managing a team, this creates an opportunity to play to the strengths of individuals and empower them to work in a way that suits them best. This period, and the technology we are using to make it work, could make the concept of a conventional working day seem old-fashioned, opening the door to improved inclusivity for those who have previously struggled to conform to the standard 9-5. Of course, there are caveats to this. For virtual meetings to be productive, we will need to be more mindful of colleagues’ working patterns, strengths and styles, so that conversations can be scheduled at a time and using a platform that suits everyone. However, this simply means that our experience of working remotely will be a catalyst for further positive change as we take more notice of the working preferences and the challenges or routines of others. Regular catch-ups can no longer be allowed to drop down the priority list because effective teamwork will rely on actively touching base with each other. Expectations and deadlines cannot be vague because micro-management and last minute curved balls are no longer possible, so communication will become simpler and more purposeful, with clear expectations set for deliverables and urgency. As we adjust to the new challenges of working outside of our regular routines, it also makes sense to assume that we will reach out beyond our regular team structures too. Getting work done will depend on leveraging the talent and experience within the business and, as homeworking makes location irrelevant, there will be increased opportunity for co-working across different departments, different sites or even different countries. With so much change surrounding us, it’s important to understand how we can use the current situation to embrace ED&I working practices, but it’s important not to lose sight of the obstacles that were preventing us from nurturing a more inclusive workplace before. Those obstacles still exist. Leaders must be conscious of any bias, which can result in them trusting colleagues who are most like themselves. It’s essential for those in a leadership role to ensure they consciously involve every member of their team, allocating tasks to all and checking in with everyone. Whether we have a fully-equipped home office or are camped out at the dining room table surrounded by home-schooling paraphernalia, this is a time when we’re all united by the need to keep everything as normal as possible, even though everything is further from normal than we’ve ever known it. The way we work now to develop a cohesive team will leave a legacy when we do all return to the workplace. That legacy may well enable people to work from home and hopefully, it will also involve enhanced understanding of inclusive working cultures.

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    Morson Wins Large Employer of the Year at the Engineering Talent Awards by EqualEngineers

    Morson is delighted to take home the award for Large Employer of the Year at the inaugural Engineering Talent Awards by EqualEngineers. The Engineering Talent Awards is a new set of awards to celebrate the diversity of the engineering and technology profession through showcasing role models and inspiring people to consider a career in the field. EqualEngineers was founded by Dr Mark McBride-Wright, a chemical engineer specialising in health and safety with experience in oil & gas, government services and defence. EqualEngineers sets out increase the diversity of workforces and improve stakeholder health and wellbeing by connecting inclusive employers with diverse candidates in engineering and technology. Morson beat Rolls-Royce and UK Power Networks to the Large Employer of the Year award. Our submission highlighted how as a business, guided by our 2020 pledge to double the number of female contractors registered with us, we have continued to showcase women in engineering with impactful case studies and key sponsorships. Morson has three times been sponsors of the Big Rail Diversity Games by Women in Rail and sponsored their mentoring programme – a nine-month programme accurately matching aspiring female mentees with successful mentors from across the rail industry based on location, personal interest, technical skills and experience. This is in order to champion diverse thinking, cross-fertilisation of ideas and boost networks within the UK rail sector. As members of LGBT charity Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, Morson has committed to ensuring all its candidates are encouraged to be themselves at work, driving performance, engagement and innovation. Hundreds of Morson Track Operatives working on the London Underground were given rainbow-striped laces for their safety boots in celebration and support of the LGBT community. Adding Recite Me’s suite of web accessibility tools to our website has revolutionised the way we engage with candidates online with solutions for visitors with dyslexia, visual impairment and learning difficulties, enabling 27% more of the UK population to access our online content than could previously. The technology ensures every part of our recruitment process is accessible to everyone, from browsing to making an application. In 2019, there were 6,803 uses of the ReciteMe toolbar on morson.com. Ever keen to be change-makers within the industry, we’re committed to ensuring that our work surrounding diversity is reflected within the clients as well as internally. At Morson, we are committed to improving the diversity of our company and building inclusive cultures every day. We delivered 900 ED&I courses across the Group in 2019, including a series of reverse mentoring sessions for directors from our population of future female leaders. As part of this, we committed to the Inclusive Culture Pledge, a special initiative by diversity consultancy EW Group. By signing up to EW Group’s Pledge, we benefitted from a year of dedicated support on five key aspects of diversity development: Leadership, People, Brand, Data and Future. Together this provided a focus for building our skills, awareness, confidence and maturity around workplace diversity. In doing so, we committed, internally and outwardly, to the lasting importance of diversity and inclusion to our company culture. After 12 months of the 2020 initiative, the number of female engineers went from 7.5% of our contractor base to 13.8%, with a further increase to 15.3% in 2018. Our employees split has also been changing, with 62% of the business being female. Our future leader's programme has identified over 30 future leaders within the business. The average age of this cohort is 34, with 70% of them being female. This created a stronger and more balanced pipeline of future leaders and works towards our goal of having better gender representation at senior levels. Morson is committed to changing perceptions within the business, championing women and other underrepresented groups in engineering and empowering young talent through mentorship. Diversity achieves better commercial results by driving innovative ideas, changing the status quo and raising the bar for success. Due to the restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, the inaugural awards were presented online, with an online drinks reception organised in place of networking. Morson Group continues to showcase and promote diversity in engineering. The Bridge (IT Recruitment) has recently launched its Tech Talks series which highlights the achievements of their diverse talent pool. Find out more about our commitment to diversity.

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    Sam Price Named Among Workplace Diversity HERoes for Second Year

    Sam Price, head of client engagement for Salford-headquartered Morson Group, has been recognised as a workplace diversity champion for the second year in a row after being featured in the 2020 HERoes Women Role Models list. Included in the 100 Women Future Leaders List, Price has been recognised for her efforts to achieve greater diversity across the engineering sector, specifically for those of various genders, sexualities, ethnicities and abilities. The list, which is supported by Yahoo Finance, celebrates inspiring and empowering women who aren’t yet senior leaders within their organisations but who ensure their companies remain committed to diversity and inclusion to create more representative workplaces. Operating in sectors which typically see a significant imbalance when it comes to diversity, Price’s role centres on embedding equal opportunities for all within the talent specialist’s DNA – as well as for the businesses within its global client roster – to ensure its workforce is reflective of wider society. Price was recognised in the HERoes Women Future Leaders List in 2019 for being instrumental in achieving Morson Group’s commitment to double the number of female engineers that it deploys worldwide by 2020. In the last 12 months, she has overhauled the company’s recruitment process to enable more diverse pools of candidates to access interviews and has launched Women Leaders in Transport – an online community for females working across the transport industry, established in partnership with Transport for London, talent and Siemens. Price also continues to be a mentor for The Girls’ Network’s Salford division – which she was instrumental in launching in 2018 – to empower young females from disadvantaged backgrounds with the support and resources they need to reach their aspirations. She said: “The more diverse you are as an individual, the harder it is to get ahead. As a recruitment specialist, we are responsible for changing lives by giving people the opportunity to have a career. So, the very least we can do is provide fair and open access to that, for everyone, no matter who they are. That means not being afraid to have difficult conversations about equality; it means providing education to ensure that other companies in our industry follow suit, and it means making smarter recruitment decisions to set change in motion. When I was included in the 2019 HERoes list, I downplayed what a big deal it was. This year I’m embracing it and making it known that I’m doing this for the people out there who have always been held back but who deserve to achieve their ambitions. I feel proud of what Morson is doing and I feel proud of myself.” Adrian Adair, COO of the Morson Group, added: “Sam is a shining light within the Morson Group. We have a long been committed to attracting and developing talent from a diverse pool of candidates and Sam is the driving force behing that. Her work ensures that the people we hire and those we supply to our clients are representative of our society, rather than falling within the traditional scope for our industry and not just to tick a box. She adds true business value in ensuring we hire outside typical parameters – because only by doing so will we ensure we’re working with the very best.” Find out more about Morson's commitment to diversity here

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