The past year has presented significant challenges to Mears and we have worked hard to keep our customers and employees safe, whilst protecting the most vulnerable and delivering vital services.
However, our commitment to being open to scrutiny during this time has not waivered, in fact, we were more committed than ever to operate in a way that is open and transparent.
Today, we release our first-ever Social and Diversity Impact Board Report that reviews Mears’ commitment to social value and fairness and inclusion.
The Mears’ Social and Diversity Impact Board includes three external experts whose role is to challenge us to drive forward our social and diversity agenda and to hold us to account for our commitments.
The highlights include:
- Managing the significant changes to ways of working for our staff, supporting staff through these changes, and ensuring customers were well supported.
- We took a more reactive approach to community activity, utilising teams and assets to tackle local issues presented by the pandemic. These include running befriending services and supporting local food banks
- Board-level training on EDI by external specialist company Equality Works (EW Group).
- Invested in EDI training for 300 managers with EW Group and onward training of all colleagues across the Group.
- Brought a consistent focus on social impact and diversity to every aspect of the business e.g. supporting staff through the pandemic and ensuring great representation of underrepresented groups at all levels.
- We asked independent experts EW Group to fully review our diversity policies – specifically the route from inspiring diverse people from all backgrounds, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, to look at working in the housing sector, through to interview, appointment and development to the very top – which we have implemented in full.
- We campaigned to create a fairer, more transparent, and more meaningful measurement of social value with Localis and undertook work with former Education Secretary, Justine Greening, to see what Government can do to improve social mobility.
- We appointed a new carbon team to create full end to end consultancy services helping the public sector to reduce its carbon emissions in line with ambitious Government targets.
- We have renewed our mental health & wellbeing policy and went above and beyond in our financial support to colleagues over the pandemic.
Mears Group Director of Marketing Communications & Customer Success Gary Jackson said:
“Mears welcomes the insight, challenge, and support from the Social & Diversity Impact Board and assurance provided by the external experts that sit on the board.
“As a business, we pride ourselves on having a social heart and we believe in our sense of responsibility and our broader commitment to society. We judge ourselves against this aspiration and the Social & Diversity Impact Board enables others to do the same.
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone and the full impact of the pandemic has not yet worked its way through the system. We will need to track these impacts as they emerge and be proactive in doing what we can to respond through a sustainable social value lens.
“Overall, there has been a paradigm shift that centres on equality, diversity and inclusion issues.The medium and long term impact on individuals and groups has only just begun to be thought through.
“2021/22 will see us put particular emphasis on helping communities recover from Covid, tackling homelessness, becoming a more diverse and inclusive organisation and taking further steps towards our ambition of becoming a carbon-neutral organisation,whilst reducing fuel poverty.”