Our ‘Inclusive Role Models’ campaign uses video and written interviews to showcase inspirational people from all walks of life, across industries such as engineering, technology and sport.
By providing relatable role models to the younger generation to look up to, and take inspiration from, we hope to #TransformTheFuture by breaking down barriers and encouraging a wider talent pool into industry; whilst also providing a positive platform to encourage career transitioning between sectors.
The concept of ‘seeing is believing’ is extremely powerful, with studies showing that students are more likely to choose particular careers when they’re exposed to situations and scenarios where they can imagine themselves in their shoes.
So watch, read and absorb our role models stories and, most importantly, get inspired...
Role models must also be diverse if we’re to truly champion inclusion and challenge the status quo. Within the Morson Group, we partner our mentees with like-minded senior mentors. Rather than being gender-based, these partnerships are carefully selected to deliver real collaboration, which within our own business, is helping us to improve female representation among our senior management teams, and in the future, at board level. Openly sharing and challenging your weaknesses and capitalising on your strengths, especially from a male perspective, is extremely powerful and works to break down any prejudice and barriers to success.
As senior leaders, it’s important that we use our position to drive the gender diversity conversation, to run campaigns, and to show that there are plenty of opportunities out there for women, particularly in industries such as tech, science, and engineering.
BAME attrition statistics make it clear there are significant improvements to make before we can call the industry truly inclusive, particularly when considering that attrition costs an average of £30.6k per each employee lost. BAME communities face their own unique disadvantages within society, with a higher than average chance of having experienced poverty and poorer educational outcomes. Despite more BAME people in the UK obtaining degrees, these groups are still most likely to face a job gap compared to white colleagues with the same qualifications. For example, research from the Resolution Foundation found that Black African and Bangladeshi graduates are twice as likely to work in low-paying occupations as Indian, White and Chinese university leavers. As part of our research for our whitepaper 'BAME Representation in the Workplace', we were able to determine whether BAME employees are more likely to leave their roles due to workplace pressures than none-BAME groups, and identify which demographic is more likely to be pinpointed for promotion within a company. Percentage who have left a role earlier than planned due to particular workplace issues/pressures:Percentage who have left a role earlier than planned due to particular workplace issues/pressuresBlack/British Caribbean100%White European39%Asian/British Bangladeshi100%White British24%Black/British African40%White other22%Asian/British Pakistani33%White Irish20%Asian other25%White Gypsy/traveller0%Total average57%Total average21%Percentage encouraged by a current or previous Line Manager to seek a promotion BAME participantsNon BAME participants16%84%This distinct contrast in workplace experiences amongst BAME groups compared to non-BAME groups demonstrates that professional environments could be working to manifest existing social disadvantages amongst minorities. Add to this that almost half (47%) of all respondents have never been managed by someone of BAME background, it is perhaps easier to understand why junior BAME workers are less likely to take senior positions – there simply aren’t the role models in place. These are barriers which must be broken down. Against this backdrop, there is an opportunity to implement processes and ways of working which begin to, instead, drive real social mobility amongst this demographic. Ways of working must be implemented to attract a greater pool of candidates from different ethnic backgrounds to overcome the socio-economic employment barriers that these hard-to-reach groups face. However, this must also be complemented by activity which ensures they are presented with the same promotion opportunities as other colleagues and given such positive workplace experiences that they never feel compelled to leave their role. We are working on setting a pioneering new standard within the industry to create a recruitment service which doesn’t just attract BAME talent, but which supports our clients in achieving optimum working standards, free of discrimination, to ensure talent is retained, nurtured and empowered to progress. Though this whitepaper has already explored the reasons why an employee would leave a role, our research also sought to distinguish exactly what it is that drives a BAME worker towards a job role in the first place to determine when attrition is first triggered. The below figures outline these findings: What attracts you to a role?What makes you leave a role?41% pay levels42% if I was harassed/bullied32% reputation of the organisation I’m working for39% poor company culture 31% progression opportunities 38% if I’d reached burnout (lack of energy, passion or motivation to do the job)29% proximity to home 38% if I experienced discrimination 26% attractiveness of the industry 30% if colleagues treated one another or were treated with a lack of respect19% the opportunity to secure a permanent contract 29% not being made to feel included 17% training on the job 28% if I was found to be paid less than my colleagues17% exciting elements within the role25% if I experienced racism“What these findings demonstrate is that while pay is the main driver for a person to join a business, when they are recruited their priorities actually change. “Instead, they come to value different factors, such as inclusion, respect, motivation and culture. It may be instinctive to base career decisions on elements we can measure, such as income, however, what is clear is that the immeasurable aspects to a job role are much more important in the longer term. “So, while workplaces might use pay as a tactic to attract high skilled talent, those who don’t deliver in a more emotive, personal capacity – in line with a person’s background, demographic and orientation – are at risk of high attrition levels. It is absolutely essential to create pathways for retention so that every sector works to secure its talent long term.” - Sam Price, head of client engagement the Morson Group Of the respondents who took part in the research, 40 per cent were educated to GCSE level, with just 20 per cent possessing A-levels or a degree. While 31 per cent said they had previously considered entering a traditional, professional occupation such as HR, finance or legal, 37 per cent cited ‘being unqualified’ as a factor in holding them back in their career progression. Though this portrays a perception that some technical sectors simply welcome low skilled labour, what is especially important for BAME employees is to be presented with opportunities to continually upskill in a job role, in order to retain their talent. ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, which provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations, states that the three ways to retain staff is to focus on ‘retraining’, following these three steps: Ensure that work is 'meaningful' and makes full use of an individual's skills, abilities and potential Keep work interesting and varied, providing training opportunities so that workers feel they are developing and improving Present openings for promotion, or risk driving away workers, especially younger demographics looking for career progression Based on these figures and additional research, we can now provide clients and businesses with a compelling case to better engage with BAME candidates in order to drive upward social mobility for this underrepresented and often discriminated group. However, hiring a diverse workforce is just the starting point. Instead, focus should be on creating environments where each employee can thrive, feel fulfilled and remain with the business long-term, regardless of background. Download your copy of the full whitepaper here:Find out more
The Morson Maker Space at the University of Salford is launching a new Women in Engineering Mentoring Programme. ‘Go Beyond’ aims to connect final year female students with industry professionals and will run from Feb 2021 – May 2021. Powered by Morson Group, the initiative is to cater for a select group of female students studying engineering subjects in the School of Science, Engineering and Environment (SSEE). The aims of ‘Go Beyond’ are to help students focus on the future, gain broader skills for personal or career development. The knowledge and influence of the mentor will assist the student in planning career objectives and help with gaining insight about how to step confidently into the industry. The focus is on developing the mentee professionally whilst helping to instil self-awareness, more confidence and to feel equipped to Go Beyond the University into employment. We’re thrilled that six professionals from across our Group have volunteered as mentors, dedicating their time and expertise to help promote Salford’s graduate talent, encouraging and upskilling more women into engineering roles. Morson Talent’s head of client engagement, Sam Price, Sagal Rooble, digital specialist at Waldeck and engineers Maria Williamson, Anna Davanzo and Ana Meek plus Becky Veal from Morson Projects, will be matched with students to provide one to one mentoring sessions, and take part in group webinars featuring guest talks from other mentors. Sam Price, head of client engagement, said: Our partnership with the University of Salford is a pivotal component in addressing skills shortages and the diversity imbalances of the industries we serve. The concept of ‘seeing is believing’ is extremely powerful, with women more likely to choose careers when they’re exposed to scenarios that they can imagine themselves in. By providing relatable role models, we aim to break down barriers and encourage more women into the field, whilst also supporting career transitioning from other sectors. The launch of the ‘Go Beyond’ mentoring scheme supports our ambition to improve role model access and visibility. On a personal level, I’m thrilled to begin mentoring as part of this scheme I hope I can share invaluable insights with my mentee that will help her to achieve her ambitions. I’m sure that I’ll also learn a lot in the process too. Dr. Maria Stukoff, Director of the Morson Maker Space, added: “We welcomed a phenomenal number of industry mentors who registered their supporting to the programme, and we’re delighted to have four mentors from the Morson Group. ‘Go Beyond’ is a real testament to our partnership with Morson and our collaborative investment to developing our talent pipeline and creating employment routes for the next generation of women in engineering.” A welcome extension to our partnership with the University of Salford, ‘Go Beyond’ also furthers our work to diversify talent pipelines across the industries in which we operate, ensuring businesses are fair and inclusive. True ED&I has real impact, not just on the lives of individuals from all walks of life, but in creating better cultures and broader empathy in workplaces across the country. We understand the complexities and opportunities of widening participation and take our commitment to this very seriously. Our latest whitepaper explores BAME representation in the workplace, shining a spotlight on experiences within technical industries, download your copy here. Morson has long-standing ties with The University of Salford, offering the Gerry Mason Excellence of Engineering Scholarship and establishing the Morson Engine Room and Morson Maker Space engineering facilities in 2019. The two facilities feature the latest industry-standard manufacturing technologies, enabling students to learn real-world engineering skills in relation to design for manufacture, assembly and inspection, allowing hands-on practical experience to be a step ahead of the average graduate. Most recently the students at the Maker Space have been developing medical visors using 3D printing in direct response to the needs of hospital staff and carers fighting Coronavirus.Find out more
Recent data analysis revealed that BAME attrition within technical sectors – aviation, construction, engineering – is double that compared to other industries. BAME workers make up almost 15 per cent (13.8%) of the audited workforce, and reasons for these individuals choosing to leave their roles, the data shows, have included experiences of discrimination. The same was true for other demographics, including LGBTQ+ and those who identify as female. To achieve our mission of creating an entirely equal and diverse workforce, these issues needed addressing.As such, we commissioned further research to truly understand the individual pain points of workers in these industries. We asked them to be frank and completely honest in their feedback so that our clients could quickly implement changes to improve working conditions for all, then develop longer-term strategies in line with people’s issues, challenges and needs, so that within five years, workplaces in these sectors are free from insult, abuse and prejudice. This whitepaper explores those findings.Aviation, nuclear, engineering and other technical sectors are complex industries which present often-challenging working environments. Each provides the opportunity to work with people from around the globe, so building a workforce that embraces diversity, and equally reflects the makeup of its user groups, communities and multicultural stakeholders, is even more critical. It’s widely accepted that organisations understand that their workforces are their most important asset and that ensuring every one of their colleagues is valued and is treated fairly, equally and respectfully, is critical to its success. However, our research reveals that discrimination is taking place across multiple industries, which is becoming a direct contributor to attrition levels – especially amongst BAME workers – making it harder to achieve true diversity. According to our research, more than a third (34%) have experienced discrimination in the workplace at a former employer, with almost one in three forced to leave a role earlier than planned due to workplace discrimination. When asked to detail their experiences, workers revealed discrimination occurred in relation to: 30% mental or physical disability 15% race14% gender11% ethnicity10% age5% sexual orientation5% religious belief or activity 5% equal pay 3% pregnancy or parenthood1% marital status When asked which of a variety of workplace issues would cause them to leave a role, key results were as follows: 42% if I was harassed/bullied39% poor company culture 38% if I’d reached burnout (lack of energy, passion or motivation to do the job)38% if I experienced discrimination 30% if colleagues treated one another or were treated with a lack of respect29% not being made to feel included 25% if I experienced racism19% lack of policies around equality, diversity and inclusion“It is unquestionable that businesses must focus on employing people who reflect the diversity of modern-day society by ultimately providing fair and supportive working environments for all, regardless of age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origin, religion and more. “But what these figures portray is that organisations aren’t achieving this and what’s more, it is directly contributing to them losing talented workers. “Though many of the experiences shared in this research go back several years, they still reflect the perceptions and barriers to potential employees with diverse backgrounds from joining – or remaining within – these sectors. It’s clear that true equality must stretch beyond the traditional parameters of gender and race, with effective ED&I strategies implemented to embrace multiple hard to reach groups.” - Sam Price, head of client engagement at the Morson Group When analysed further, the data reveals a disparity in the number of people who have experienced workplace discrimination depending on whether they are a BAME colleague. On average, almost an additional fifth of BAME employees shared that they have experienced discrimination, compared to those of white backgrounds. For some ethnicities – such as Black/British Caribbean – the outcome is absolute; every single worker of this specific background has been discriminated against in a current or previous role. Percentage who have experienced discrimination in the workplace (current or previous role) Black/British Caribbean 100%White Irish 50% Asian/British Bangladeshi 67%White other 50% Asian/British Pakistani 57%White European 48% Asian other 50%White Gypsy/traveller 33% Asian/British Indian 41%White British 26% Black/British African 30% Total average 58% Total average 41.4% Unconscious bias touches every aspect of ED&I in the workplace. During talent acquisition, for example, bias has a multitude of ways of preventing a connection between a company and its potential workforce: Simple definitions within a job vacancy can easily alienate some groups by creating barriers due to the role’s requirements and descriptions Unconscious bias and prejudice from the Hiring Manager can also influence candidate evaluations and ultimate selections A company’s culture can also create bias, especially where they have a reputation for not being an inclusive place to work, which will eventually be discovered by colleagues through word of mouth, social media, company review websites like Glassdoor and other avenues To deliver on our long-term commitment towards ED&I, and in response to the research, we are working with clients to implement initiatives which welcome diverse recruits to the workplace, with the long-term view of retaining that talent to make outstanding contributions and improvements to the aviation industry. Download your copy of the full whitepaper here:Find out more
Roma Das knew from a young age that she wanted a career that involved problem solving. Now aged 54, she’s more than 30 years’ experience in programming and software development, with jobs in industries such as aerospace, telecoms, housing and, most recently, for ITV. She puts her successful career down to an early love of maths, and a dedication to stick to her passion – even if it wasn’t a stereotypical path for a young girl. "I’m very good at maths – it’s logical and involves problem solving and that’s what I excel at. I knew I wanted to take it further and move into software and programming, but it wasn’t a huge area at the time. I found an O-Level in computing and decided to go for it because I thought it would be similar to maths. It turned out to be very different but still tapped into my love of puzzles and trying to find solutions to challenges. I continued my studies, doing courses in maths and computer science and did a module on Oracle SQL. It taught me the basics in programming, and I learnt even more at the University of Salford where I studied for three years, which enabled me to start a career in IT.”Living with dwarfism, Roma had reservations about how she would be treated in the workplace – not just as someone with a disability, but as a female in her field. However, every team she’s worked in has given her the support she needed to thrive. “When I started applying for jobs in IT, I was worried that my dwarfism would be a problem. My view was that, as I’m not customer facing, it wouldn’t be a problem. But I absolutely love talking to customers and I wanted to do more of it. Thankfully, I’ve been lucky enough to work with employers who don’t see my disability – or me being a female – as an issue and who have given me the opportunity to be public facing as and when I want to be. What I’ve learnt is that often, the issue is more of a personal one, and it centres on your own apprehension about how you might be perceived. Whereas, in reality, people are accepting and treat you fairly.That’s not to say that other women don’t face challenges or barriers in this industry – they absolutely do. I’ve not experienced it myself, but I have witnessed it, especially for women aiming for senior positions. It’s troubling that it still happens in this day and age when there has been so much progression.”Roma has experience working for companies such as Cable & Wireless, Akcros Chemicals and CSC where she supported such clients as BAE Systems, BNFL to name just two. She has also worked with some of the world’s most innovating software platforms. “I enjoy being given a problem to solve, and either helping to build a new system from scratch or improving an existing system by making it work better, harder or faster. I’ve been integral to some amazing projects for software that’s used around the world, such as a bespoke screening system for flight information that’s used currently in Panama. There’s no satisfaction like seeing your own invention work in the way you wanted it to and making a difference to the way a place functions.“I recently joined ITV where I am currently supporting existing applications and databases that hold a variety of information about ITV programmes – it’s extremely interesting as I can relate my work to the programmes I watch. I’ll also be involved in any future application or database development too.” As she continues to progress in her new role, she wants to share advice with other young women considering a future in a typically male-dominated industry.“Don’t think that because a sector is traditionally male-orientated, that you can’t be part of it. And when you make yourself part of it, stay true to yourself. Many women start thinking like a man in order to become part of the team, but we have such fantastic qualities just as we are, there is no need to change. “I’m a softly spoken person, but I don’t sit back; I approach people as my equal, just as I would expect them to treat me. It’s not a man’s world – it’s anyone’s world, so be yourself and simply by excelling in your job, you’ll play your part to create change for future women who come along after you.” Take a look at our latest opportunities in engineering, manufacturing, construction, professional services and more by visiting our jobs boardFind out more
With top talent in short supply and competition for roles intensifying, it’s crucial that organisations around the globe understand, attract, engage and retain a skilled and diverse workforce. Failing to do so could see a business miss out on great colleagues, enhanced productivity and numerous other proven competitive advantages. In fact, the very survival of many companies and major projects hinges on its ability to create inclusive and equal environments where a diverse team of people can truly thrive and reach their full potential. As talent solutions specialists, we at the Morson Group have witnessed first-hand the benefits of equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) in business and we work in partnership with clients around the world to challenge traditional stereotypes and misconceptions to lead this conversation. We support our clients’ ED&I commitments, strategies and core values when we are appointed to fulfil their requirement for contingent and temporary workers, by providing them with access to key management information, including spend, worker profiles, numbers and attrition rates, whilst delivering cost efficiencies and attracting talent to essential roles. Together, we are focused on achieving success by supporting clients in consciously building and retaining inclusive teams, recognising the unique value, skills and contribution that every individual brings to its workplace, and encouraging its people to be themselves – whoever they are. Recent data analysis revealed that BAME attrition within technical sectors – aviation, construction, engineering – is double that compared to other industries. BAME workers make up almost 15 per cent (13.8%) of the audited workforce, and reasons for these individuals choosing to leave their roles, the data shows, have included experiences of discrimination. The same was true for other demographics, including LGBTQ+ and those who identify as female. To achieve our mission of creating an entirely equal and diverse workforce, these issues needed addressing. As such, we commissioned further research to truly understand the individual pain points of workers in these industries. We asked them to be frank and completely honest in their feedback so that our clients could quickly implement changes to improve working conditions for all, then develop longer-term strategies in line with people’s issues, challenges and needs, so that within five years, workplaces in these sectors are free from insult, abuse and prejudice. This whitepaper explores those findings. “With 50 years’ experience in recruitment, we enable our clients to tackle their talent needs, with a diverse, equal and inclusive workforce being very much part of this labour strategy. By perfecting diversity-focused talent programmes within our own group of companies, we play a vital part in rolling these initiatives out across our client portfolio – many of whom operate in some of the least diverse sectors. This creates increasingly diverse worker populations that continue to meet business-critical needs and demands, whilst challenging status quos. “Talent is the ultimate criteria for success. We want to ensure we are providing diverse workforces with the opportunities to aim high by working in collaboration with our clients to help create safe, friendly and supportive places to work. Ultimately, providing a working environment and recruitment service which welcomes everyone with open arms – whoever they are and whoever they want to be.” - Adrian Adair, COO at the Morson Group COVID-19 and the BAME demographicThe past 12 months have presented significant challenges for the global population. Never in our lifetime have we all been so vastly affected by the same single source. When very little was known about the Coronavirus – in the first months of 2020, when it initially hit our shores – there was guidance on how different demographics might be affected by the disease, but it mostly centred on age; the older you were, the more susceptible to the illness. However, trends soon began to emerge which demonstrated that the BAME community was at higher risk of infection, serious illness and even fatality. Scientific studies aimed to distinguish whether it was a genetic disposition, but ongoing research revealed that this was largely the case because of the already widely established, deep-rooted inequalities the BAME community faces, and has faced for generations. As Public Health England described it, ‘the social and structural determinants of health disparities.’ Research revealed : The highest age standardised diagnosis rates of COVID-19 per 100,000 population were in people of Black ethnic groups (486 in females and 649 in males) and the lowest were in people of White ethnic groups (220 in females and 224 in males) People of Bangladeshi ethnicity had around twice the risk of death when compared to people of White British ethnicity People of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Other Asian, Caribbean and Other Black ethnicity had between 10 and 50 per cent higher risk of death when compared to White British Death rates from COVID-19 were higher for Black and Asian ethnic groups when compared to White ethnic groups In relation to the last point, this is the first time that existing, societal inequality has led to a higher death rate amongst the BAME community. The Government’s report stated: “Risk of dying among those diagnosed with COVID-19 was also higher in males than females; higher in those living in the more deprived areas than those living in the least deprived; and higher in those in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups than in White ethnic groups. These inequalities largely replicate existing inequalities in mortality rates in previous years, except for BAME groups, as mortality was previously higher in White ethnic groups.” Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said regarding these findings:“The insights make for humbling reading. The clear message from stakeholders was the requirement for tangible actions, provided at scale and pace, with a commitment to address the underlying factors of inequality.” Because not only was the data highlighting that existing inequality made BAME individuals more susceptible to this deadly disease, but it showed it had the capability to exacerbate inequality even further and drive greater division in our society. Selbie then set out a seven-point action plan, with recommendations on the steps that could be taken to mitigate the risks posed to BAME individuals in the COVID-age. Within this, was guidance for employers which stated that – at a national level – we must: ‘Accelerate the development of culturally competent occupational risk assessment tools that can be employed in a variety of occupational settings and used to reduce the risk of a worker’s exposure to and acquisition of COVID-19, especially for key workers working with a large cross section of the general public or in contact with those infected with COVID-19.’ It is unknown how long COVID-19 will be present in our lives. Whether a vaccine eradicates its existence is yet to be seen but there are claims among scientists that it is set to be part of our lives forever, even if we can immunise against its most severe effects. This stark reality means employers of BAME individuals have an additional responsibility to ensure workers of this demographic are provided with equal, inclusive places to work where background isn’t a determining factor of their progress and success. When even a virus appears able to discriminate, we must empower BAME colleagues with everything they need to eradicate other inequalities from their lives. A diverse and fair working environment should be a given. Download your copy of the full whitepaper here:https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/892376/COVID_stakeholder_engagement_synthesis_beyond_the_data.pdfFind out more
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 https://theewgroup.comFind out more
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 industryFind out more
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 hereFind out more
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 hereFind out more
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.Find out more