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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. 


  • W1siziisijiwmtkvmdivmjevmtavmjgvmzgvmc9hc2hpay1zywxpbs00otiyntktdw5zcgxhc2guanbnil0swyjwiiwidgh1bwiilcizmzv4mzm1xhuwmdnjil1d

    Attracting the New Generation in Rail

    SAFETY MATTERS | 3 MIN READ Morson Vital Training (MVT) is using its sponsorship of a grassroots team at West Freestyle Martial Arts Club as a vehicle to instil better rail safety behaviours into children. MVT will run a series of events to spark the pupils’ interest in engineering and the rail industry, including an introduction to life on track by visiting its Salford training hub. Download the latest edition of our Safety Matters magazine. (function () { var e = document.createElement('script'); e.type = 'text/javascript'; e.async = true; e.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https' : 'http') + '://btn.createsend1.com/js/sb.min.js?v=3'; e.className = 'createsend-script'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(e, s); })(); Morson Vital Training (MVT) has a rich history of building the rail industry’s talent pipeline, especially through its outstanding apprenticeship provision. To build on its work, training support manager, Andrew Robinson, has launched an employer engagement programme with a local school to offer young people a direct link into successful rail careers. Andrew has been an enterprise advisor with New Park School in Eccles for a number of months, working closely with young people and staff to support outcomes and give them increased visibility of career paths. The school provides specialist provision for young people aged 7-16 assessed as having social, emotional and/or mental health difficulties, which are often linked to learning or communication difficulties. MVT will run a series of events to spark the pupils’ interest in engineering and the rail industry, including an introduction to life on track by visiting its Salford training hub. Students will also receive manual handling training and learn the essential skills required within rail, such as teamwork, timekeeping and communication, as well as taking part in an interactive ‘Morson Engineering Challenge’. Andrew explains: “Pupils have an increased chance of becoming NEET adults (not in education, employment or training) once they leave New Park School and this is a cycle that we’re focused on breaking. “As well as learning essential skills and having exposure to the range of employment and training opportunities available to them, each pupil will receive a certificate at the end of the programme to include in their CV. Many of the pupils are also from benefit-dependent families, who without people like us getting involved, would remain unemployed and lack all future employment prospects and ambitions.” Female sport stars from the all-girls under 11’s football team, the Treowen Stars have also scored a vital deal. Vital Human Resources is now sponsoring the inspiring football team who are based in South Wales. The team play in a non-competitive league throughout Gwent and the young girls now proudly carry the Vital name on their shirts. Read more about how Morson Vital Training and the Girls Network spark engineering interest in a new generation of young people. Morson makes sensei of grassroots sponsorship Morson Vital Training (MVT) is using its sponsorship of a grassroots team at West Freestyle Martial Arts Club in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, as a vehicle to instil better rail safety behaviours into children. The grassroots club delivers high energy kickboxing that combines martial arts kicks with boxing style training to help keep young people fit, confident and happy. As well as disciplines in martial arts, the students learn teamwork, patience, motivation, leadership as well as the importance of health and safety towards themselves and one another. To build on this health and safety angle, MVT recently took the Morson Vital Safety Unit along to the Club to talk to the children and their parents about rail safety. The fun, interactive event focused on level crossing and foot crossing safety, giving children food-for-thought on how to keep themselves, their friends and their family safe on the UK rail network. Jane Hepburn, HSE advisor delivered the talk and said: “We want our young people to become safety conscious adults when using the rail network and that means understanding the dangers present. “The children were so engaged in what we had to say, giving them first-hand insight into the dangers around the railway, with a focus on level crossing safety, the roots of risky behaviour and how peer pressure can impact their decision making, to really drive home these important safety messages.” Download our latest issue of Safety Matters to read more about everything from health and safety innovation and project wins to top tips and case studies. Or, to search for our latest jobs, click here.

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    We’re Making Recruitment More Accessible for People Living with Colour Blindness

    ACCESSIBILITY | 5 MIN READ We interview Morson's Digital Marketer, Nathan Baldwin on how colour blindness affects him Discover how we are helping to break down barriers with our new accessibility software Watch the video demonstrating the features (function () { var e = document.createElement('script'); e.type = 'text/javascript'; e.async = true; e.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https' : 'http') + '://btn.createsend1.com/js/sb.min.js?v=3'; e.className = 'createsend-script'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(e, s); })(); Many people living with colour blindness will have stories of how their visual impairment affects their working life on a daily basis. This can be anything from being unable to read colour organised charts and graphs to struggling to design content. But here at Morson, we want to make sure we remove any barriers that may hinder people living with colour blindness from finding their dream job. Colour blindness impacts people in different ways, but as 7% of people worldwide have a low-level visual impairment, it’s something we need to address. In the UK about 4.5% of the population is colour blind, most of whom are men. That’s because colour blindness is more common amongst men (around 1 in 12), than women (around 1 in 200). There are many different types of colour blindness, however, the most common type is red/green colour blind. To find out more about how colour blindness can affect individuals, we spoke to one of our own, Digital Marketer, Nathan Baldwin… What type of colour blindness do you have? What colours are the worst etc? The colours I struggle with the most is differentiating between blue/purple, red/brown and also green/orange. However, if there are distinct differences in the colours i.e. bright blue and dark purple I will be able to tell the difference. It’s more a difficulty in identifying subtle differences between colours. When did you discover you were colour blind? I discovered I was colour blind at around the age of 13 when my high school conducted some routine eye tests. Then found out that both my Grandad, his Dad and my Cousin are also colour blind – so It must run in the family! Does your colour blindness ever affect you at work? If so, in what instance? Yes, it definitely does. Sometimes my job requires me to work with logos and brand guidelines which can be really challenging. If I need to use colours that adhere to brand guidelines I usually have to use the colour code (HEX) of each individual colour to make sure I am certain that it will be exactly right. Also, when I’m putting together styles for the website I have to check with colleagues that certain colours look good together as I may be seeing them very differently to what they actually look like. What can businesses do differently to make their websites more inclusive to people with colour blindness? I think just acknowledging that people who are using websites every day have various different sight problems. A lot of websites have sight accessibility software where the words are read out for you to hear but very few cater for colour blindness as this is a lot harder to implement. There are Accessibility tools that help differentiate certain colours on websites, so people can easily identify certain colours. However, the best solution I have found is using the hex or colour code to find the exact colours I need. How are we breaking down barriers? We’ve implemented ReciteMe, an innovative cloud-based web accessibility tool that lets you customise how your website looks offering a suite of accessibility tools, including solutions for visitors with dyslexia, visual impairment and learning difficulties. We’re using this innovative technology to help make recruitment accessible to everyone and ensure that our content is inclusive for everyone. One of ReciteMe’s main features is that it has the ability to change colours on your website to make it easier for people with colour blindness to read. Depending on the severity of the impairment, you can choose to change the background colour, the writing colour or both. Check out the example below! To find out more about colour blindness, click here. Or, to find out more about our Morson Equals Opportunities campaign and to search our latest jobs using ReciteMe’s accessibility software, click here.

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  • W1siziisijiwmtkvmdmvmdcvmtavmtgvntkvmjm1l1npbw9uzs1sb2nozs04mdatec00mdauanbnil0swyjwiiwidgh1bwiilcizmzv4mzm1xhuwmdnjil1d

    International Women's Day - Proud To Announce Simone Roche, Northern Power Women CEO, as Morson Diversity Ambassador

    INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY | 5 MIN READ We are delighted to announce our official Morson Diversity Ambassador, Simone Roche Meet Morson's Northern Power Women representatives Find out more about the Morson Equals Opportunites campaign which is set to revolutionise how the business engages with candidates online (function () { var e = document.createElement('script'); e.type = 'text/javascript'; e.async = true; e.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https' : 'http') + '://btn.createsend1.com/js/sb.min.js?v=3'; e.className = 'createsend-script'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(e, s); })(); Morson is delighted to announce our official Morson diversity ambassador, CEO and founder of Northern Power Women, Simone Roche MBE. Simone will become our first diversity champion and joins a growing list of existing Morson ambassadors across business, sport and the armed forces. Simone launched Northern Power Women when she saw the need to focus gender balance in the northern powerhouse region, with the goal of making the North a driving force. Her career has taken her from scaling the ranks of the Royal Navy to roles at Aintree Racecourse, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and the London Olympics. However, it was when she became director for a campaign supporting women in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industry and subsequently became a champion for the Government Equalities Office that gender equality became her passion. In her role as Morson diversity ambassador, Simone will actively promote our commitment to diversity to engage the network of current and future leaders. Adrian Adair, Chief Operations Officer at Morson, said “There’s no denying that diversity achieves better commercial results by driving innovative ideas, changing the status quo and raising the bar for success. As a business must also create working environments that champion equality and inclusivity from the inside out. That’s why we’re delighted to add Simone as an ambassador.” Simone said “I’m delighted to become a diversity ambassador for Morson. The organisation, along with many of its clients, are a huge player in the Northern Powerhouse and the Northern Power Women initiative has been working closely with Morson for some time. I’m looking forward to taking my passion for addressing gender equality into this role and joining an impressive list of ambassadors from other fields.” Morson's Northern Power Women Representatives Adrian Adair, Morson COO and Northern Power Women Role Model With almost 20 years of experience in recruitment, Adrian Adair is Chief Operations Officer at Morson International. Adrian identifies the right internal talent to drive both Morson International and the wider Morson Group forward to achieve its goal of becoming a £1billion turnover business. He has identified the future boardroom, ensuring it’s diverse, equal and inclusive – all factors that are regarded highly throughout Morson International’s own recruitment strategy for itself and those of its clients. Samantha Price, Morson Head of Client Engagement and Northen Power Women Future List 2018 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. Rebekah Lee, Morson Head of Marketing and Northern Power Women Future List 2019 As head of marketing for Morson Group, I operate in sectors hardest hit by imbalances and work to actively attract talent from untapped pools, ensuring there are no barriers in place to hold talented people back. I am passionate about promoting diversity that goes beyond gender, working hard to challenge stigmas, open conversations and invite collaboration. The ‘Morson Equals Opportunities’ campaign is set to be my most important project to date, revolutionising how the business engages with our candidates online. A suite of accessibility tools, including solutions for visitors with dyslexia, visual impairment and learning difficulties, embedded into our website will enable 27% more of the UK population to access our online content than could previously. This campaign, combined with our new Group website, which utilises the latest tech to enhance the candidate journey, will deliver commercial benefits by uncovering a wealth of talent and further position Morson as a leader for EDI. Seeing the male-dominated industry in which I work as an opportunity to impact real change, I have developed powerful partnerships with organisations such as the Sale Sharks Community Trust, to break down attitudes with regards to masculinity and mental health. Inclusion into the Future List serves to empower this work which aims to transform the way people view mental health; opening up conversations, reducing stigma and encouraging cultural change.” Morson is particularly proud this year to be announced as the new sponsor for the NPW Future List and Innovation Award, alongside the headline sponsor, Manchester Airports Group, who have partnered with NPW for the past two years. Read more here.

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    Daniela's London Underground Journey | Morson Canning Town

    MORSON BLOG | 3 MIN READ Daniela has worked on the London Underground for over 14 years She talks to Morson about being a woman in a typically male-dominated industry (function () { var e = document.createElement('script'); e.type = 'text/javascript'; e.async = true; e.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https' : 'http') + '://btn.createsend1.com/js/sb.min.js?v=3'; e.className = 'createsend-script'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(e, s); })(); When most people are settling in to sleep for the night, teams all across the London Underground are preparing for their shifts working through the night. We spoke to one of Morson's Canning Town staff about how she ended up working in the industry. Daniela Halacheva has worked night shifts on the London Underground for over 14 years. She has recently been given the responsibility of looking after the female work placements during their introductory night shifts on the London Underground as part of the Transport For London Women Into Technology and Engineering programme. Morson was invited to be part of the programme after winning the TfL Supplier Award for Best Apprenticeship 2018. She speaks to Morson about how she ended up working in a male-dominated industry, and how she has made her mark. “I saw the ad in the newspaper looking for night workers and that was what I was looking for so I went for it. I was thinking in my head back then that it would be something for a year or two maybe, but I’ve been doing this job 14 years now.” Working on the London Underground on the night shift might not sound like the ideal job for someone like Daniela with a young child, but she stresses the benefits of the role: “It’s a very good job if you’ve got the right attitude. It’s not easy, but if you’ve got the right attitude towards the job and the duties you have you’ll succeed.” After undergoing training, Daniela became Protection Master. This safety-critical role involved liaising with the site leader to ensure safe working on site, implementing and adhering to stringent health and safety regulations. Safety guidelines are constantly evolving on the London Underground and are altered based on changing conditions and in the event on any incident. “If something happens out there, they will add on things to make it safer, be that equipment or procedures and I like that. We go by certain books, and if it’s not written in the book you should not really be doing it. Shortcuts don’t necessarily mean good things. Yes you might get a little more work done, but is it safe? Shortcuts usually lead to mistakes and incidents. This is why I say, if it’s in the book, go by the book. It should not be taken lightly. Obviously, all the training we do here is by LU standards, so you can’t really deviate. We’re not writing history here, we’re just passing on the knowledge.” Daniela recognises that the rail industry as a whole is maledominated, though during her 14 years of service has seen a lot more women being attracted to the role. As a woman, she has been ideally placed to impart her knowledge onto the WiTnE placement students. “It’s harder for women to integrate into the industry but more and more women are getting into it – technical officers and project engineers/ When I started there were not that many women so you’re barely ever going to see someone like you. It was quite daunting at first. My first ever briefing as a Protection Master was in front of 60 guys! But a lot of people would find that hard. There are guys that might have worked in a gang for two, five years. But when they’re in the limelight giving their first briefing they do feel nervous." Find out more about what Morson is doing to improve diversity across industry here

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    We’ve Translated Our Website into Over 100 Different Languages… Because Everyone Should Have the Opportunity to Find Their Dream Job

    ACCESSIBILITY | 4 MIN READ We chat to Vice President of Morson Canada, Warren Bennett about how Morson recruits for roles in different languages. Find out what we’re doing to make it easier for none English speakers to find a job with Morson. Demand for candidates who speak two or more languages is rapidly increasing and companies need bilingual candidates a variety of high-skilled positions. Morson has been active in the Canadian recruitment market since 1980, giving us a proven track record spanning over 30 years. In Canada, French is the mother tongue of about 7.2 million Canadians (20.6% of the Canadian population). Our expert recruitment teams operate from our main office in Toronto, Ontario and our satellite office in Victoria, British Columbia and have a wealth of experience working with candidates that may not have English as their first language. Our teams of specialist recruiters deliver skills across all provinces and use our extensive candidate database and the latest candidate attraction techniques to find highly skilled personnel for work on exciting projects across the country. To find out more about how Morson recruits in different languages, we spoke to Vice President of Morson Canada, Warren Bennett… How many applicants do you come across who don’t have English as their first language? Over 20% of our recruits do not have English as their first language and the majority of these have French as their native language. Most of these French native speakers live in Quebec where French is the majority official language. What techniques do you use to attract bilingual candidates? At Morson, we have a strong network with eight languages spoken throughout our offices which we can utilise when necessary. We translate documents, have trained translators, share translated job ads – we do everything to ensure the process is as easy for the candidate as possible. The ReciteMe technology recently implemented will enhance this proposition, by allowing candidates with many different first languages, not only French, to access and apply for our roles online. What are some of the challenges you encounter when recruiting bilingual candidates and how do you ensure you can overcome them? Having the language skills is only one part of their role. Sourcing the correct skills and attitude is just as important so sourcing these specific roles is where our network plays a big role. Have you spent anytime living abroad using your language skills in your personal life? I’m a Brit living in Canada and I’ve also worked in Italy, Hungary and also Ireland. My language skills were minimal when I first started but as much as language skills are important, an appreciation of cultures is needed when working abroad. I now have a working knowledge and I have picked up enough words and phrases to ensure I get by. In your opinion, is there anything recruitment agencies need to do to make their processes more accessible to people who may not have English as their first language? For Morson as key factor is that we must ensure that our documentation is easily translated. Our website is key with Canada having both French and English as an official language we need to ensure that we reach audiences beyond the English-speaking provinces. Other than that our office plays a major role in being able to speak in languages other than English. Forming a more personal connection and understanding what the candidates wants is key and conversing in their first language is important. We’ve Translated Our Website… We’ve implemented ReciteMe, an innovative cloud-based web accessibility tool that lets you customise how your website looks offering a suite of accessibility tools, including solutions for visitors with dyslexia, visual impairment and learning difficulties. We’re using this innovative technology to help make recruitment accessible to everyone and ensure that our content is inclusive for everyone. One of ReciteMe’s main features is that it has the ability to change the text to over 100 different languages on your website to make it easier for none English speakers to read. Check out the example below! ​ To find out more about our Morson Equals Opportunities campaign and to search our latest jobs using ReciteMe’s accessibility software, click here.

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    The Recruitment COO | Ole's At The Wheel: Leadership Traits Of Man United's New Man In Charge

    THE RECRUITMENT COO | EXPLORING THE FRONTIERS OF RECRUITMENT, LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY with Adrian Adair Adrian Adair is our Chief Operating Officer and has spearheaded significant market expansion, positioning Morson Group as the go-to strategic recruitment partner of choice across all sectors, both in the UK and overseas. Adrian’s leadership style places inclusivity at the heart of how the business acts and thinks. By identifying a future leadership team which is diverse and future facing, Adrian has curated a pipeline of talent which will strengthen the Morson Group's reputation as one of the most forward-thinking and ambitious recruiters. In The Recruitment COO, Adrian writes about leadership, talent and inclusivity as well as mistakes and motivation. From recruiter to the c-suite, Adrian is not a ‘thought leader’ – he’s an action taker, a change maker and an innovator. I was away with our senior leadership team on a development programme talking about planning for the future and the development of young talent when some highly appropriate news came through. Ole’s at the wheel. Despite Morson’s extensive recruitment connections with Manchester United, including our onsite RPO team that overlooks the Old Trafford pitch, we sadly can’t take the credit for this particular perm placement! That said, it seemed like a bit of a recruitment no brainer. Solskjaer passed his apprenticeship with flying colours, winning all but two of his 14 league games in charge, picking up more points than any other top-flight side in the process. But the really revealing success story was the incredible comeback victory over PSG, when an injury-ridden team overcame a 2-0 first leg defeat to beat the French side 3-1 at their own stadium to progress to the Champions League Quarter Finals. The very embodiment of everything that Manchester United – particularly under Sir Alex Ferguson – stood for, the result was – literally - unprecedented. It was becoming clear something had changed behind the scenes at Old Trafford. With no major additions to the same squad that was rolling limply through the 2018/19 campaign under Jose Mourinho, Solskjaer has galvanised the team, bought the best out of under-performing players and given United fans a togetherness not seen since Sir Alex bowed out in 2013. Visiting our site office at Old Trafford, along with our senior management development programme last week, gave me food for thought regarding leadership styles in business. I think Ole has demonstrated excellent leadership traits and shows examples of the kind of philosophy I like to try to adopt myself. Here are four key things I’ve noted: Understanding the Culture Solskjaer completed the ultimate comeback with his Treble-winning last-minute goal in the 1999 Champions League final. This match – and indeed the whole 98/99 season – perhaps best encapsulated the culture of the Ferguson era. Buccaneering. Brave. Attacking. Never giving up. To their detriment, this is something that Sir Alex’s successors have largely failed to grasp or emulate. Perseverance is inseparable from the United culture. Ole gets this because Ole was this. If you understand the culture of a business, you understand what drives its people and what will get the best out of them. It allows you to make decisions – and hires – that best suit this environment. Believing in Youth Two great Scotsmen best epitomised this undeniably Manchester United trait - Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson. While the Busby Babes side were tragically cut down before their prime, Matt’s rebuild and eventual success from the ashes of Munich perhaps best encapsulated the ‘never give up’ mentality that would be re-forged and re-defined much later by Sir Alex. At Morson, we have a lot of young teams coming through who will be helping to take the business into its next 50 years. Having belief in these teams and nurturing their talents to get the best out of them is vital for a sustainable business with an eye on the future. If you understand how to get the best out of people and provide the resources and culture they need they’ll always surprise you with innovation. This is vital as our business adapts to changing markets and enters entirely new ones. You really get the sense Ole understands this. His bold selection of the excellent 22 year old Scott McTominay in the heart of midfield during their crucial game against Liverpool at Old Trafford is a great example of this. Foster Relationships At the tail end of the Mourinho era, several key players in the squad started to look depressed and disinterested. News of unrest within the dressing room circulated incessantly in the media with training ground photos of reported bust-ups doing little to quell the flames. It was clear Mourinho was losing control and was beginning to sound increasingly aloof, regularly calling out players in the press. Much like during his time with Real Madrid, Jose was falling out with big names, something that was to ultimately cost him. Solskjaer on the other hand has fostered excellent relationships with his squad. Paul Pogba, potentially a troublesome character, is firing on close to all cylinders again. Sir Alex was hailed as an excellent man-manager and you can see Ole is harnessing some of this. The same thing is key within business. As a leader it’s important to spend time building strong relationships at all levels, to be available and open. Learning how to deal with individuals and how to get the best out of people is just as important as having a grand idea of where you want to take the business. Enjoy Yourself “I’m going to enjoy this job, no matter how long I’ve got it.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, post-PSG press conference Love your job and you’ll be better at it. It’s as simple as that. As soon as Solskjaer stepped into the interim position in December 2018, you could see that he was enjoying it. While his predecessor(s) struggled to break a smile even at the best of times, the ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ hides nothing and his enthusiastic demeanour seems a welcome and stark contrast to the more pragmatic, moody and arrogant style of those before him. This almost child-like giddiness will rub off on others. Even if Ole ultimately comes up short in the job, you know it won’t be for lack of enthusiasm, care or effort. He loves the club and the club loves him. A match made in recruitment heaven, surely? If you don’t love what you do, Morson can help, search the latest jobs with us >

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    From Girl Guides to Diversity Champion | Sorrel Chats About Her Aspirations, Maintaining a Work/Life Balance and Her Career in A Male-Dominated Industry

    DIVERSITY | 3 MIN READ We speak to Sorrel Gilbert, trustee of the Association of Project Management in the role of Diversity Champion to find out more about her flourishing career​. Sorrel talks about some of the challenges working in a male-dominated environment can have and how she overcomes them. ​ As part of our diversity in engineering series, Morson spoke to Sorrel Gilbert, trustee of the Association of Project Management in the role of Diversity Champion to find out more about her flourishing career. After leaving soon at 18 to become an events assistant with the Girl Guides, Sorrel embarked on a Maths degree at the Open University and was juggling work and education simultaneously. “After a few years, and various event assistant roles I came across BAE Systems’ Project Management Apprenticeship, applied and got in!” “Once I finished my apprenticeship, I looked around and realised that I really liked the flexibility of contracting and the idea of being able to move projects and companies regularly.” Sorrel has now worked for some big names such as Thales UK, Mercury Systems as well as some smaller contracts for a classic car company, and teaching project management apprentices. Now she is a trustee of the Association of Project Management, acting in the role of diversity champion. She also runs a successful YouTube Channel called “The Gilbert Principle” giving careers advice. (LINK) Sorrel talked about some of the challenges working in a male-dominated environment can have and how she overcomes them… “It’s the simple things that affect you - in one role I was put on an island of desks with most of the other women in the room. The idea behind this was kind: putting friends together. But this meant that the male members of the team had easier access to our manager as they sat next to him.” “I’ve found as a woman that identifying these situations and working out how to calmly deal with them is vital: I needed to make sure I was getting time with my boss and kept myself his mind by sending regular emails outlining my achievements. Never be scared to show people your achievements!” “It’s also about understanding yourself; your own biases and privileges. Through that, you can start to see how other people see the world differently.” Looking forward to the future, Sorrel talks about her aspirations for her career… “I’ve not really got a specific plan. I like to see what projects become available - the very nature of project management means that things are always changing.” “I’m currently a trustee of the Association of Project Management, and as part of that, I’m their diversity champion. I’m planning to use the skills I’ve been gaining from that, and from my project management roles to find more roles where I can make a difference one project at a time.” A big discussion topic in the recruitment and staffing industry at the moment is ensuring you maintain a healthy work/life balance. Sorrel chats about how she ensures she switches off and differentiates between being at work and when it’s time to relax. “I maintain a healthy work/life balance by being able to block off parts of my life. When I’m on I’m on, and when I’m off I’m off. I also employ a virtual assistant who completes most of the business administration that goes with being a contractor. This gives me time and energy to be better at work and be more present at home.” For more information on Morson's commitment to diversity check out our Diversity Portal. Or to find your next opportunity search jobs.

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    Why Accessibility is So Important in Recruitment, We Sat Down with Ross, MD at ReciteMe, to Discuss

    ACCESSIBILITY | 4 MIN READ ReciteMe’s MD, gives us the lowdown on why the Morson accessibility journey is so important for job seekers. Find out how over 3000 people have used our accessibility software to find their next role. Watch the video. At the start of the year, we began our accessibility journey by adding the Recite Me accessibility software to our website to ensure our online recruitment process is accessible to everyone. To find out more about why accessibility in recruitment is so important and learn more about the story behind Recite Me, we spoke to Ross, Managing Director of the innovative company… “Recite Me is an online accessibility tool that makes websites instantly accessible for users with dyslexia, visual impairments, English as their second language and a whole host of other conditions.” Since we implemented Recite Me onto our website in February, we have had nearly 3,000 people use the software to browse our website and find a job, opening up our services to a much wider talent pool who may not have been able to use our website before.So far, the most used Recite Me feature on Morson.com is the text to speech feature. This enables people with visual impairments or language barriers access the content on our website as the computer reads out the text for them. Ross added: “I think the most used feature is text to speech. Say, if you go on the Gatwick Express website and hover over some text it will speak it to you and I think that is applicable for so many different conditions, people who are visually impaired, people who are dyslexic. We’ve got a whole host of other features for different areas such as magnification, high contrasting colours, dictionary definitions of words, it allows people to save as an MP3 and then playback.” The second most used Recite Me feature on Morson.com is the language translation. We are proud to say that, thanks to Recite Me, our website can now be translated into over 100 different languages. This breaks down the barriers for people who may not have English as their first language, which in Canada alone, equates to over 20% of our recruits. Find out more about what we’re doing to make it easier for none English speakers to find a job with Morson in our latest blog where we chat to the Vice President of Morson Canada, Warren Bennett. Why is accessibility so important? Ross lives with dyslexia, so accessibility is something that is very close to his heart. He talks about why it’s so important to get it right in the recruitment industry… “Accessibility, particularly in the recruitment industry is so important because that’s the area that people like myself, have issues with. It really does take the recruitment industry to get behind people with disabilities to allow us to access jobs and to switch to become more skills based. Like myself being dyslexic, I’ve got a very good working memory, I’ll remember everything like yesterday which is such a powerful thing within a company.” “Companies need to take responsibility for their online content and if it’s accessible themselves, not relying on me as a person to buy the software (because it’s not cheap!). So that’s why we created Recite Me.” Watch the video below Morson Equals Opportunities The way we engage with our clients, contractors and candidates is so important to us at Morson. This year we have launched the ‘Morson Equals Opportunities’ campaign which aims to revolutionise the way we engage with our stakeholders online and making our website fully accessible is a big part of that. We understand that the best talent out there comes from all walks of life from different backgrounds with different abilities and needs. So, we want to open up our talent pools as much as we can… because everyone should have the opportunity to find their dream job. Ross finishes with some food for thought: “The disability discrimination act states that you have to make an adjustment for people who have got a disability. There’s a second reason as well, there’s a business case for it. National Car Rental did a study and 83% of people who had an accessibility need that wasn’t met by the website went to a different one.” “If you’ve got a website and a quarter of your population can’t access it, it makes perfect business sense to be able to allow it to be accessed.” To find out more about our Morson Equals Opportunities campaign, click here. Or click the 'Accessibility tools' button on our homepage to search our latest jobs using ReciteMe.

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    Morson Shortlisted For Two Inspire Awards 2019

    MORSON NEWS | 2 MIN READ Morson shortlisted in two categories for the 2019 Inspire Awards. We won the category of Most Inspiring Employer in 2018. We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted in the Inspire Awards 2019 in two categories: Most Inspiring Employer and Most Inspiring Mental Wellbeing Initiative. Focusing on the UK construction, engineering and housing sectors, the Inspire Awards are presented annually to companies to help inspire a more diverse and inclusive culture in the industry by celebrating those who are leading the way. The awards look at the people within a business, the practices of the business and the projects that they undertake. After winning the Most Inspiring Employer category in 2018, Morson once again makes this shortlisting in 2019. The awarding body sought to know the ways in which our business helps to address ED&I concerns in both our internal recruitment and for that of our clients. Our submissions highlighted how our family-oriented business, led by a passionate senior team, has actively worked to target under-represented groups like return-to-work mums in the recruitment process. We have also undergone a programme of training to remove unconscious bias from the process and integrate CV anonymisation. On our official website, we have recently added Recite Me’s web accessibility software to our website to make it easier to access for people with learning difficulties, visual impairment and dyslexia. It allows 27% more of the population to access our site. The second category of submission was for our commitment to mental health. Over the last couple of years, we have developed our mental health approach by establishing mental health first aiders across the business to offer help to any member of staff who is struggling with a mental health issue. In conjunction with our sporting associates Sale Sharks Rugby Club we hosted a Balls to That, a mental health awareness event featuring army veteran and deaf rugby star Craig Monaghan for our employees. We’ve also recently appointed a dedicated Health, Wellbeing & Engagement Partner to tailor our programmes to better suit internal needs and shape the initiatives of the future. We believe these shortlisting’s are an excellent representation of our commitment to positive change. The awards will be presented at an event at The Hilton in Deansgate Manchester on 5th June 2019. Read more about our diversity and inclusion journey here.

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    Morson Embrace Latest Technology to Ensure Our Website is Accessible to People Living with Dyslexia. Ross, MD at ReciteMe Explains Its Importance

    ACCESSIBILITY | 5 MIN READ We are proud to have implemented the latest technology to ensure our website is accessible to those living with dyslexia. Ross, ReciteMe’s MD who also has dyslexia chats about why the Morson accessibility journey is so important for job seekers. Find out how over 3000 people have used our accessibility software to find their next role. At the start of the year, we began our accessibility journey by adding the Recite Me accessibility software to our website to ensure our online recruitment process is accessible to everyone. To find out more about the importance of accessibility in recruitment and learn more about the story behind Recite Me, we spoke to Ross, Managing Director. Ross discovered he had dyslexia when he was 22 and the president of a student union - completely finished education. His story inspired him to create Recite Me to ensure that there are no barriers to success for people with disabilities. How does dyslexia affect your day to day life? “One thing is I’m always late for things and that is a very classic dyslexia sign, the judgement of time tends to be off all the way through to the obvious ones really like I read much slower and have a tendency to lose interest in reading much quicker. Another one is my attention span, no meetings in our business last longer than 20 minutes because you’ve got 20 minutes with me until I start looking out of the window and admiring the birds flying by!” Around 10 to 15 per cent of people in the world have dyslexia or another learning difficulty. In the UK that figure currently stands at around 15 per cent. This means that one in every 6.7 people in this country has dyslexia or another learning difficulty. Does your dyslexia ever affect you at work? If so, in what instance? “Reading for me is like cycling uphill. I can do it, but eventually I’ll get exhausted. That’s why it’s so important for people to have a piece of accessibility software like Recite Me. If I change the colour of the screen and my background colour is yellow and the text is blue, I read 25% faster and I don’t get tired of reading as much.” To find out more about our partnership with Recite Me, click here. What can businesses do differently to make their websites more inclusive to people with dyslexia? “One of the most important things is the individual company’s ownership of the adjustment. When the Disability Discrimination Act came in there were companies taking ownership and putting in ramps but when it came to dyslexia and visual impairment, they were still relying on people to buy their own software.” “So, what I would say to companies is to take ownership. What can you do to make your content more accessible?” Since we implemented Recite Me onto our website in February, we have had nearly 3,000 people use the software to browse our website and find a job, opening up our services to a much wider talent pool who may not have been able to use our website before What adjustments can employers make to the application process to make it easier for people living with dyslexia? “This might go against a lot of company’s policies but generally assessment centres don’t work well for people with dyslexia. It kind of prays on everything that a dyslexic person isn’t good at. It’s time-based restrictions, it’s a lot of reading, writing and forced scenarios in an unnatural environment. If there is a person who has dyslexia the best thing to do is to pre-plan how that adjustment is going to be.” Watch the full video below To find out more about our Morson Equals Opportunities campaign, click here. Or click the 'Accessibility tools' button on our homepage to search our latest jobs using ReciteMe.

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    Salford Trailblazers attend USA/UK Industry STEM Dinner!

    MORSON NEWS | 2 MIN READ University of Salford engineering students, Alexandra Guy and Rosalie Benjamin were invited to join an American delegation of inspiring women engineers to discuss the future of women in STEM. Morson Group has pledged to increase the number of female engineering contractors by 50% by 2020 and are well on their way to doing this. On Wednesday 10th April, University of Salford engineering students, Alexandra Guy (3rd-year Aeronautical Engineering) and Rosalie Benjamin (2nd Year Aviation Technology with Pilot Studies) were invited to join an American delegation of inspiring women engineers to discuss the future of women in STEM. The Salford University students were part of this industry discussion to share what work both students are doing to champion gender equality here at Salford. Alexandra Guy said: “I had an absolutely amazing time at the Trailblazers STEM evening speaking to everyone! All the participants were so supportive of each other and all so passionate about what they do, and I think that’s such an amazing thing to see in the industry.” She also comments: “I wouldn’t think twice about doing this type of event again. Being able to inspire, and have a say in what should be involved to engage future generations, is definitely something to get involved in.” This opportunity was organised by Marilyn Comrie OBE, Director of the Blair Project. The Blair Project is a disruptive social enterprise that exists to inspire the next generation of high-tech engineers through electric karting and digital manufacturing & design project-based activities. The Maker Space, and partners, global technical recruitment company, Morson Group have developed good relationships with Marilyn and the Blair Project and are working with them to bring exciting opportunities like this to our students, but also to discuss challenging issues, problem solve and inspire students to make a change. Dr Maria Stukoff, Director of the Maker Space added: “Such events highlight the importance of championing female role models studying and working in STEM subjects and normalising females in STEM roles, breaking down stigma and challenging outdated viewpoints from primary school to University and into employment”. Morson Group has pledged to increase the number of female engineering contractors by 50% by 2020 and are well on their way to doing this. The Maker Space is sponsoring, with Morson Group, the STEMinist Society, a student society set up with the goal to champion gender equality in STEM subjects across the Schools. We are also very proud to support the University’s Athena Swan charter to recognise the advancement of gender equality across campus. You can get involved in the STEMinist Society by contacting Carmen Cusack on C.Cusack@edu.salford.ac.uk Ready to progress your career? Search the latest opportunities with Morson.

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    Championing Diversity on Track | Safety Matters

    SAFETY MATTERS | 4 MIN READ Morson International sponsor Women in Rail's mentoring programme. Our pledge to double the number of female contractors by 2020 has risen from 7.5% to 13.8% within the past 12 months. We speak to Gary Smithson, Associate Director at Morson International to find out more. We are committed to improving diversity, inclusion and equality across all sectors in which we operate. So, in addition to pledging to double the number of female engineers that we employ by 2020, which has already risen from 7.5% to 13.8% within the past 12 months, we are proud to announce Morson International as a sponsor of Women in Rail’s mentoring programme. The nine-month programme accurately matches aspiring female mentees with successful mentors from across the rail industry to guarantee success, by moulding and accelerating a diverse talent pool. In order to champion diverse thinking, cross-fertilisation of ideas and boost networks within the UK rail sector, the programme matches mentees with a mentor from another business based on their location, personal interests, technical skills and experience. Now in its fifth year, Women in Rail aims to build on in its 260 pairs established in 2017, a considerable increase on the first 12 matches back in 2014, by collaborating with Moving Ahead: a specialist company behind the mentoring programmes in some of the UK’s largest and most well-known businesses.Gary Smithson, associate director for Morson International, said: “We’ve been a big supporter and champion of Women in Rail for a number of years, including their annual awards and Big Rail Diversity Challenge.” “Diversity is good for the industry and if we’re to reap the same commercial rewards as other, more diverse sectors, then we must address the issues within our own sector in order to rebalance gender ratios.” “This programme is a fantastic avenue to develop and harness some of the best female talent within our industry, gain valuable insights on what holds females back from entering rail professions and share best practice on retaining great people. Diversity is an issue that’s affecting our entire sector and one that we’re working on together with our clients and supply chain to make sure we are doing everything that we can to overcome.” “We have so many talented, intelligent and ambitious females working throughout our rail operations and will be placing a number of these on the 2018 mentoring programme to give them the additional skills and attributes to reach their full potential.” Read more about how we’re changing behaviours on track here. Adelne Ginn, general counsel at Angel Trains and founder of Women in Rail, added: “We are delighted to have launched our “repowered” Mentoring Programme this year, which looks at matching mentors to mentees from across the rail industry. Mentoring involves developing an individual to achieve their full potential and in turn, believe in themselves.” “Our programme has been designed to encourage the next generation to champion diversity in the rail industry and evolve to support men, as well as women, transport as well as rail and women internally as well as across the UK. We could not have done this without your support as sponsors, so thank you from all at Women in Rail.” Download our latest issue of Safety Matters to read more about everything from health and safety innovation and project wins to top tips and case studies. Or, to search for our latest jobs, click here.

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