Tarmac Inclusion and Diversity Journey
Louise Houston, Tarmac - head of talent, diversity and inclusion
At Tarmac, we believe in celebrating people’s differences and removing any barriers that stand in the way. So we are getting serious about building an even more inclusive business where everyone’s welcome regardless of their background. We are a business that cares about leading the way and always doing the right thing. That is why we are putting a real focus on making Tarmac a more inclusive, diverse and fairer place to work.
We are already doing some great things. Our partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, 5% Club, Future Leaders programme and Diversity Hut are all focused on finding and developing potential. In 2019, we have continued to make even bigger strides on Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) – and here are five ways we plan to do it.
1. Becoming inclusive by being inclusive We are in the early stages of our Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) journey, so we have been carrying out a lot of research to establish the best way forward. What is clear is that we need to take a collective approach. We have established an external group of likeminded organisations from a range of different businesses and sectors and we meet regularly to discuss our challenges and successes. This helps us maintain momentum in our push for a fairer future.
2. Rethinking how we think We are training our people to be aware of the benefits an inclusive culture brings and how get the better of their ‘unconscious bias’. These are the snap judgements we make about people based on things like their ethnicity, gender, social background or sexual orientation. By understanding and beating our biases, we can make sure we spot potential, treat everyone fairly and get the right people into the right job at the right time.
3. Listening to what employees have to say We want all our people to be at the heart of our I&D journey and we give our employees the chance to do that via an anonymous employee survey. To help understand our current employee demographic, have also been asking diversity declaration questions, so we can make sure our data and progress against our ambitions is as robust as possible. Feedback from our 2019 Survey has allowed us to focus on the issues that are important to our employees.
4. Allowing everyone to be part of our story Before we can make major changes, we need to make sure our business is ready for them. We are working on a range of new policies and tools that will help create a culture of acceptance and support.
We have launched a religious holiday policy, which means people from a range of ethnic backgrounds can enjoy important holidays with their friends and family, and importantly support and give line managers the information they need. We have updated our maternity policy with an enhanced financial and emotional support package and we are designing flexible working policies that support families, carers and others at different times of their lives.
We have also recruited inclusion and diversity champions throughout the business to help shape or agenda, raise awareness and promote our work. This network of colleagues is critical to the success of our journey. During 2020 we will be working with them closely to trial new ways of working across all our operations, helping to change the perception of industry and attract and retain the best talent.
5. Breaking down even more barriers We are also looking at the language we use in our recruitment advertisings. We want to make sure that what we say is encouraging and inclusive – and does not exclude anyone with the potential to do a brilliant job for us. We will also carry out an audit of our on-site welfare facilities and the design and options for Personal Protective Equipment. Our audit will tell us where we can do better and make sure everyone feels welcome on our sites.