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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equal Engineers

Equal Engineers (002)

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

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

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

We've Partnered with Equal Engineers to Make Engineering & Technology Recruitment More Diverse and Inclusive...

As a global technical recruiter, Morson operates in sectors hardest hit by imbalances. We are 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. 

There’s no hiding behind the issue that there continues to be a lack of diversity in many sectors, particularly at senior levels. It's something that we’re working hard at the Morson Group to challenge and change, by breaking down stereotypes and eliminating the barriers that prevent females, LGBT and different ethnicities from entering these roles and progressing to the top.

EqualEngineers provides a solution through training, recruitment, media and events.

EqualEngineers was set up after the founder, Dr Mark McBride-Wright spent years working in the sector and seeing not only the challenges that the lack of diversity can bring, but also the risks posed to health, safety and wellbeing. Being a gay safety engineer himself and setting up networking group InterEngineering for LGBT+ engineers gave him the drive to set up an organisation covering all aspects of diversity.

Dr Mark McBride-Wright said:

“For me, inclusivity in the workplace is a health and safety issue. Not being able to be open about who you are, because of attitudes and lack of diversity around you can lead to mental health issues and decreased wellbeing. In Construction, for example, an industry where suicide rates among men are more than three times the national average, more needs to be done to ensure that commitment to these issues goes much further than token inclusion policies. We need to rapidly overhaul the way in which we approach culture change programmes within our industry, and we need to ensure everyone feels included and is able to find their voice as part of the diversity narrative.”

In recent years, we have taken significant steps to build on our status as a diverse recruiter and partnering with EqualEngineers is one of the key ways we are realising our mission to ensure that there are no barriers in place to hold talented people back.

Under Mark’s leadership, Equal Engineers has become the leading organisation addressing LGBT+ inclusion in the engineering and construction sector engaging prominent engineering institutes and employers, with a membership of over 500 engineers. Mark authored a report for the UK Government on tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in engineering and is working with the UK Government on the implementation of the recommended measures.

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    The Inclusive Culture Pledge 2021: Our commitment to building an inclusive culture

    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, but 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 a key part of our 2021 diversity and inclusion strategy, we're thrilled to announce that Morson, has once again joined leading companies from a range of sectors and industries in signing the Inclusive Culture Pledge for a further year in 2021, an initiative managed by diversity consultancy The EW Group. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are becoming increasingly important for both employers and employees. Research has shown that diverse businesses are 35% more likely to financially outperform their industry’s national average. For potential job hunters, 67% now consider a diverse workforce is an important factor when considering job offers.By signing up to the Pledge, we will again have the support of the EW Group, a specialist in diversity and inclusion. Throughout the year, our colleagues 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 2021. In doing so, we are making a commitment, internally and outwardly, to the lasting importance of diversity and inclusion to our company culture. Joining the Pledge is a public commitment that we take diversity and inclusion seriously and that we understand the need to provide our employees with a safe, fair and supportive place to work. We’re looking forward to the events provided as part of the Pledge, which will build our internal capacity and ensure we work at the cutting edge of diversity and inclusion. This is an initiative that we believe will benefit our colleagues, customers and stakeholders.For more information visit

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    Women in Rail | How a former footballer found her way into trespass prevention — via Australia

    Some people know what career they want from an early age, others follow in the footsteps of their parents, while many of us become settled when our skills meet opportunity. The latter has proven true for Charlie-Lea Fitzpatrick. After playing for Everton FC Ladies when she was younger, the Liverpool local chose to pack her bags and travel to the other side of the world for a year, before returning to England and her family and friends back home. Before flying out to Oz, Charlie-Lea had spent 11 months working as a sports massage therapist, but after coming back she chose to become a Trespass and Vandalism Patroller (TVP) with Vital Human Resources after desiring something completely new from her career. “I’d never worked in the rail industry before and hadn’t thought about doing so; I just knew I wanted a change and found something I liked.” That was Charlie-Lea’s response when I asked her why she decided to make such a change after spending a year as a massage therapist. “I wanted a change and when I found out about the chance to work in the rail industry and hearing about Real Skills and the PTS (Personal Track Safety) training, I knew I had to go for it. I went with another female TVP member to complete the training, which did feature a number of other females. The trainer was lovely and really helpful, he made us feel at ease. After the course, I’ve gone on to experience lots of interesting projects before now focusing on trespass and vandalism prevention. There are a few different things we do, and there are two of us working together. We’ll get sent to various lines to check on things, and you might have a group of youths who shouldn’t be there that we have to deal with, for example. Sometimes it might be people vandalising bits around the lines and we’ve been trained for that. There are also vulnerable people, and we’re trained to approach them too and how to get the BTP (British Transport Police) involved.” Charlie-Lea is rightly proud of the work herself and other TVP members carry out up and down the country’s rail network. Both in terms of operational safety and smooth running of lines, the role is incredibly important. TVP staff spend around 160,000 combined hours patrolling our rail network. The work they do keeps both the public and freight moving around Britain and more importantly, they save lives. Back in 2018, we reported that as part of Operation Regatta — a joint partnership between Network Rail, BTP and ATOC — our trespass and vandalism patrollers helped reduce suicide rates in the Thameslink area by 53%, which translates as more than 50 life-saving interventions. Importantly, Charlie-Lea believes improved diversity within the rail industry may well play an outsized role in helping to save even more lives. “I definitely think when people who are unstable see a woman approaching them, it does make them feel calmer." Understandably, Charlie-Lea wants to see more people like her consider working within rail as a potential career move. “More girls should get into this work because it’s such a good feeling to be able to help people and having more diversity on track can only be a good thing.” Click here to read about how Katie moved from a successful career in banking management into the rail industry

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  • Katie Hughes

    Women in Rail | It’s not always easy, but that’s not a problem for Katie

    Katie Hughes went from working for BT and enjoying a successful spell in management with Lloyds Banking Group before moving into the rail sector. She’s not always found the transition easy, but Katie has encouraging advice for other women looking to enter the industry: “It’s not always easy being female in this industry as some people still don’t expect to see women working near the rails.” Katie says it can be difficult for women going into any male-dominated workplace. However, after succeeding in banking, she had the confidence needed to achieve just the same in her new role. "Because I’m straightforward and to the point, my colleagues quickly began opening up. In this industry, you’ve got to have empathy, and be caring and understanding. You’ve got to be self-motivated and must work closely with your team as you’re relying on them in a partnership. Sometimes we work with station managers, dispatchers and other members of platform and station staff. I enjoy this collaborative side of the role. It’s about asking questions. I make sure I ask lots of questions because I want to know the answers and also because people want to share their knowledge.” Katie also describes how she knows of other women in similar roles who do have experience operating directly on the tracks and carrying out more physically demanding work. “I know where my strengths lie and my ability to diffuse situations, empathise with those in distress and keep a level head make me perfectly suited for the role as a Trespassing and Vandalism Patroller with Vital Human Resources.” The rail industry is becoming more diverse, which can only be positive, but the roles within it have always been multiple and varied. Whatever your background or expertise, there are positions and responsibilities to suit any and everyone. So, what final piece of advice would Katie give to any females asking her about a career in the rail industry? “As I’ve said to a few of my friends, they’d be perfect, because, well, women bring diversity of thought. 100%, we should have more women on the rail. Just go for it.” Find out more about Morson's commitment to diversity in the rail industry. To search our latest jobs in rail, click here

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    Morson Signs Rail ‘Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Charter’ to Support Diversity Across the Sector

    The Railway Industry Association (RIA) and Women in Rail have launched a Charter to champion equality, diversity and inclusion in the UK railway industry. The joint ‘Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Charter’ is a commitment to work together to build a more balanced higher performing sector and has been backed by over 100 organisations including the Morson Group. The Charter involves several key commitments, including to: Appoint a member of the senior leadership team as an ‘EDI Champion’; Agree an action plan, monitor and report on progress made; Provide opportunities for training and education of employees, support the progression of diverse individuals into senior roles to improve diverse representation at senior and executive level of the UK railway industry; Create a culture that fosters inclusion and provide a safe space for all employees to talk openly, including at industry events and in meetings; and Make recruitment and progression processes accessible and attractive to all to attract retain and develop people of all backgrounds, ages, genders and identities. The Charter is open to all companies, clients and organisations working in the UK railway industry who wish to play a role in promoting positive change in the rail industry. It seeks to recognise and build upon the progress which has already taken place, providing the basis to encourage further collaboration and action across the sector.  The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community, helping to grow a sustainable, high-performing railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people. The Rail EDI Charter was launched on Friday 6th November at RIA’s Annual Conference during the ‘Skills, opportunity and inclusion’ panel. Women in Rail, a charity founded in 2012, comprises men and women from the UK railway sector, working together alongside major stakeholders in the industry to support the development, promotion and attraction of women in the UK railway sector and, more broadly, improve gender balance, equality, diversity and inclusion in rail. Women in Rail holds regular networking events and development workshops across the UK through its 8 regional groups and runs a very successful cross-industry mentoring programme where both female and male mentees receive guidance from more senior industry professionals to support them in their professional development, personal growth and confidence. RIA Chairman David Tonkin and Chief Executive Darren Caplan issued a joint statement, saying: “We are delighted to announce the EDI Charter in partnership with Women in Rail. Whilst there has been plenty of progress in the rail supply sector which we should be proud of, there is still more to do to promote diversity and equal opportunity. The rail workforce should be representative of a modern UK, providing an attractive career path to people of all ages from all backgrounds, and ultimately increasing the talent pool from which the future leadership of the rail sector will be drawn. We hope the Charter will help encourage not just equality, diversity and inclusion in the rail supply sector, but also diversity of thought, unlocking new talent and building a positive culture throughout the railway industry. We look forward to working with organisations from across the sector to ensure that rail remains a fantastic area to work in during the years ahead.” Women in Rail Founder and Director Adeline Ginn MBE, said: “The rail industry has worked hard in the last few years to promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within its workforce.  In these challenging times, it is important we strengthen these EDI efforts to ensure we attract and harness the skills, knowledge and insight from everyone representing all parts of our society and our customers. This Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Charter represents our industry’s commitment to openly support this agenda and we are delighted to be partnering with the Railway Industry Association, and all the signatories, on this exciting initiative.” Gary Smithson, Rail Director at Morson Group, said: "We are delighted to be involved in the great initiative and to show our support for both this charter and as a continuation of our support of Women in Rail. The past few months have highlighted that true equality and an inclusive mentality are more important than ever in our professional and personal lives. Working together, adopting different perspectives and helping each other out has simply been essential… for the now, and for the future. Prejudice has no place as we look forward and build our economy back, together." Other signatories currently include over 100 companies from across the UK railway industry, such as: Department for Transport; Network Rail; RDG; NSAR; Transport for London and Transport for Wales; ORR; BTP; Southeastern Railway; HS1; leading OEMS such as Alstom, Hitachi, CAF and Bombardier; consultancy companies such Atkins, Jacobs, CPMS, Costain and also Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, Rail Alliance, Colas Rail, DB Cargo UK, and more. Find out more about our support for the Women in Rail iniative here. To search our latest jobs in rail, click here

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    Morson Wins FIRM Award for Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

    Morson’s commitment to diversity and inclusion was highly commended as we took home the award for Best Diversity and Inclusion Strategy at the FIRM Awards 2020. The annual FIRM Awards celebrate the very best of in-house recruitment excellence, innovation and best practice. Morson was shortlisted amongst Primark Limited, SAP and Transport for London. Originally scheduled to take place in London in March, the awards were eventually presented on the 4th November in a ceremony that took place online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Morson’s ED&I strategy has expanded in recent years. The inspiration for this came from a review of the company's staff and placed contractor population highlighted a lack of gender diversity. This was particularly evident in technical contract roles – 6.5% female from our c.12,000 contractors at the time – and our own future leader pipeline. Within Morson International, women occupied just 14.6% of the highest paid jobs, whilst occupying 38.2% of the lowest. While this could be justified by the male-dominated sectors within which we operate, and their subsequent shortage of skills, with stats from EngineeringUK showing clear gender disparity in engineering: while women comprised 47.1% of the overall UK workforce in 2018, only 12% of engineering occupations were filled by women. This insight presented a multi-faceted business case to address the lack of female representation. Our diversity strategy has sponsorship from executive board level (chief operating officer, Adrian Adair) and volunteer ambassadors from across the business have regular strategy meetings, as well engaging with key stakeholders from our clients’ organisations. Our strategy focuses on two key goals that would deliver an internal cultural change to combat negative, harmful gender stereotypes. Through a shift in our organisational practice, culture and viewpoint, we have been able to make headway in transforming our own talent pipeline and that of our clients. Beyond this culture change, our strategy focuses on expanding the talent pool by attracting more females into traditionally male-dominated industries and addressing sector-specific skills gaps. Through diversification we benefit from enhanced creativity of thought, agility and the ability to combat unconscious bias surrounding engineering and its perceived ‘macho’ culture. This demonstrably increases innovation, improves team work and fosters improved employee and candidate relationships. Sam Price, Head of Client Engagement at Morson and our ED&I lead, said: “The FIRM awards focus on  excellence, innovation and best practice so it’s a tremendous achievement for every member of the Morson family that we’ve been recognised for our ED&I strategy.   As a collective, the Morson Group has worked hard to design and deliver an ED&I strategy that drives positive change internally and externally. With recruitment at the core of everything we do it’s our continued ambition that we pay it forward to our clients and the industries we service in driving the agenda for diverse and inclusive colleague communities. There definitely is no finish line for our strategy and we are committed to continuing to improving and reinforcing our people first culture across the Group." Find out more about Morson's committment to equality, diversity and inclusion here. To search out latest jobs, click here.

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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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    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 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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