Improving Lives

Jo Fry, HR Director, launches the Fairness and Inclusion Strategy 2022–2025

English and language Classes
Life coaching and integration workshops
Eco, food, and waste management education
Befriending events for isolated service users
Tea/Coffee events for over 50's
Arts and Crafts Sessions
Inclusive homework support for school aged children.

Last year, as part of our 2025 Strategy, we promised we would develop an approach to fairness and inclusion which would contribute to creating a workforce where no one feels left behind.

This means we needed to look at all aspects related to working at Mears, whether this is how we attract, recruit, onboard, train, develop, retain and offboard our people.

Our aim is to improve fairness and inclusion across the organisation. By having the right strategy, we can ensure that we are an attractive place to come and work, to stay and progress and that we continue to be an employer where anyone can thrive, regardless of their background.  

What do we mean by Fairness and Inclusion?

Fairness: Recognising and valuing everyone is individual and different and ensuring equal access to opportunities for all regardless of social economic background or individual make up.

Inclusion: A sense of belonging, feeling accepted and valued for who you are; feeling supported as you bring your authentic self to work.

The strategy has not been static with much work already complete or in progress.

We have already established an ESG board with new experts to help us build our policies. We are in the process of appointing our third Employee Director, supported by a Deputy Employee Director, who has a focus on disability awareness within the Group

You will hopefully have seen new training from Mears Learning, and requests for your own data so we know and understand the needs of our workforce. We hope you have also seen that we have incorporated religious and cultural events into the calendar and social media including Black History month

Some of our policy changes have been reflected elsewhere but show that our new approach is across the board. You will see our new approach to our maternity and paternity provision for example.

A full breakdown of what we have done can be seen in the strategy.

Some of the actions we will be taking in the strategy:

  • We will use apprenticeships to introduce more diversity at entry levels – to nurture and build our future talent pipeline
  • We will conduct outreach and recruitment at job fairs and other events hosted by various organisations supportive of diverse communities, including disability advocacy groups
  • We will implement a formal mentoring programme, including reverse mentoring, focusing on our areas of under representation to understand the challenges and nurture talent
  • We will promote and continually develop Mears flexible working offer – an announcement about this will be coming soon
  • We will support the creation of employee network groups including LGBTQIA+, Disability, Black Asian and other ethnicities.
  • We will ensure that effective story telling is utilised more to share personal experiences and to demonstrate example of success through F&I initiatives
  • We will develop an internal leadership program to give personal and professional growth to employees
  • We will expand our pay gap reporting to include ethnicity and we will eradicate pay disparity in all job roles

Over the next week you will be hearing more about fairness and inclusion so please find the time to read our strategy. This can only work properly when our whole workforce comes together to support it – and to support those who might feel left behind. So please, read the strategy, ask us if you would like anything explained to you, and then reflect how you can help us in your own part of the business.

Jo Fry

Director of HR