When we received the report from a specialist consultancy, we had commissioned to undertake a review into equality, diversity and inclusion at Henry Boot in 2019, I was not surprised to read the results.


We were informed that, like so many other businesses in the built environment sector, we had low levels of representation and diversity in our business. It is a problem that our industry has been aware of for decades. Unlike other industries such as professional services or retail, the built environment sector has long struggled to attract a diverse audience and leadership teams remain dominated by men.


But with every challenge comes an opportunity. The report we had commissioned told us that we had great potential to make progressive changes and incorporate new ideas to ensure that we created a workplace that is truly fair, accessible, and rewarding for all our current and prospective people. It is a challenge we have embraced with great enthusiasm.


Our first task was to establish an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Steering Group. This team of employees come from across our Group and represent our businesses, the regions we operate in and the different job functions we have across the Group. They have all dedicated their time, ideas and honest feedback to help us create a plan to making exciting changes across our business.


Today marks the launch of our new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy. It is exciting to see months of hard work from many talented colleagues come to fruition as we share the first details of what we hope to achieve over the years ahead.


Why does this matter? It is a question with an obvious answer – because it is the right thing to do. For too long our industry has failed to offer accessible opportunities to a diverse audience of talented individuals. It is a time for change, for action and for fairness for all.


That is why today we are making three commitments to all our people, partners and the communities we work with and alongside. We are committing to ensuring fair and equitable access to all our opportunities, to recognising and embracing differences within our workforce and the partners we work alongside, and to welcoming and celebrating diversity.


By delivering on these commitments, I believe we will create an environment where everyone can develop their talents, prosper and succeed. I look forward to working with our people, our partners and our communities to deliver change and create a built environment sector that offers rewarding and accessible careers for all.

This is just to start of our challenge. We know that breaking down barriers and creating real change will take time but we are ready and willing to put the time and effort in to create authentic and long-lasting change in our business

Rachel White, Head of HR