What was the challenge?
The Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 rightly highlighted the need for companies across the world to demonstrate that they are taking real action to recruit, retain encourage and promote people from backgrounds where they might suffer from discrimination.
At Mears we deliberately waited to say anything about this until we had taken the opportunity to understand how the impact of our current working practices affects encouraging diversity and appropriate representation across all areas of our workforce. We felt that to say anything on this important matter before we understood the current status would be to pay lip service and to jump on the bandwagon.
What did we do?
As part of our review, we commissioned the EW Group who are experts in equality, diversity and inclusion to review what we can do as a company. We have also engaged with Black Lives Matter and provided full access to our policies which they have commented on positively.
We believe this is fundamental to our business model given the diversity of our customer base and the need to ensure we have the strongest possible workforce for the future. This is not a one-off project but one that will continue for the foreseeable future and be embedded to all our policies and procedures. We have a wide range of ambitions here including:
- Better recruitment and retention of staff.
- Continuing to see greater diversity at every level of the organisation.
- Increase customer and employee satisfaction.
- Improve our contract win rate by demonstrating that we understand the needs of all our customers.
What were the outcomes?
Following the review of our approach to equality, diversity and inclusion we have delivered the following:
- Delivered a robust review of policies and processes.
- Delivered a training plan to equip managers to deliver a more diverse and inclusive organisational culture.
- Focused on additional support to encourage good mental health and well-being during the pandemic.
- Ensured the Mears Board has had bespoke inclusive leadership training.
- Weaved equality, diversity and inclusion into bids and procurement more thoroughly.
- Continued to proactively address the gender pay gap.
- Surveyed all our colleagues and customers to better understand their experience of fairness in the workplace.