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Wates Group is to dedicate October each year to promoting diversity and inclusion.
As part of the new “inclusion month”, the company has
revealed an increase in the proportion of women working across the group from
18.9% in 2018 to 20.3% in 2019. The contractor’s gender pay gap has also fallen
from 23.1% in 2018 to 21.7% in 2019.
There was also an increase in the proportion of women at the most senior levels of the company, from 10% to 11.5%, Wates said. The business has a target of increasing the proportion of women working within it to 40% by 2025.
Wates has published its third gender pay gap report this year despite the pandemic having suspended the legal obligations on companies to do so.
Meanwhile, employees have been invited to participate in a range of ‘masterclasses’ on issues as diverse as overcoming imposter syndrome, building an LGBT+ inclusive workplace, and building confidence in a virtual world; to join themed quizzes; and to attend webinars featuring leading figures in diversity and inclusion in the UK such as the founder of UK Black Pride, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah.
October coincides with Black History Month, and Wates has featured other activities focused on combatting racism and responding to the global conversation on race prompted by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Wates head of diversity and inclusion Nikunj Upadhyay said: “We are committed to building an organisation which is more representative of the communities we serve, offering equality of opportunities to diverse talent and an inclusive work environment where this talent thrives. The bold targets we have set ourselves will take time to achieve, but we are moving in the right direction and we are committed to achieving sustainable change.”
Inclusion Month was established acknowledging key events within the diversity calendar in October, particularly Black History Month, World Menopause Awareness Day, National Work Life Week, National Coming Out Day and World Mental Health Day.