Mott MacDonald launches diversity and inclusion action plan

28 June 2017 Consultancy.uk

Engineering and development consultancy Mott MacDonald has announced plans to drive up diversity among its ranks in the UK. A diversity and inclusion (EDI) action plan for 2017-2018 will see the firm identify areas in which improvements can be made by its Advance Employee Network.

Women continue to be under represented in business, particularly at the top and in technical roles. In recent years increased focus has been focused upon the issue, with ethical arguments growing beyond the world of business, while various studies finding diversity improves business outcomes has driven progress within it

Mott MacDonald‘s UK operation, in a bid to improve diversity among its ranks and emulate public sector success, has launched a diversity and inclusion (EDI) action plan for 2017-2018. The plan aims to improve the representation of a wide range of groups among all levels of the firm’s operation.

The firm’s scheme will first seek better understanding of the situation on the ground holding back employees of marginalised backgrounds, before reporting them to the firm’s Advance Employee Network – which will set various internal policies to improve outcomes for everyone across the company.

Mott MacDonald launches diversity and inclusion (EDI) action plan

Commenting on the Mott MacDonald’s efforts to improve outcomes for various groups, James Harris, a managing director at the firm, said, “An inclusive workplace is key to our collaborative culture and to meeting the needs of our clients, suppliers and customers. By committing to measurable goals, we’re demonstrating our ambition to drive diversity as being central to how we do business. We are determined to attract and engage the best people, with meritocracy recognising a true diversity of talent.”

Business in the Community’s race equality director, Sandra Kerr OBE, commented, “It is excellent to see Mott MacDonald championing EDI and making clear commitments to increasing the diversity of its staff at all levels of its business. This is positive news for the engineering and construction sectors.”

Darren Towers, executive director of business development at LGBT rights campaign group Stonewall, meanwhile added, “Setting clear goals for LGBT representation at work enables organisations to better track progress on inclusion and identify where more work needs to be done. It helps attract and retain LGBT staff and, if they’re not, address why this might be. It’s great to see Mott MacDonald make this a priority.”

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Women remain underrepresented in UK's hospitality industry leadership

12 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Female engagement at the top level of the UK hospitality industry is still lagging, with the vast majority of decision-making roles continue to be held by men. Only 7% of the industry’s FTSE 350 CEOs are women; however, the pay gap in hospitality and leisure is far better than in other industries, at a median of approximately 7%.

The hospitality, travel and leisure (HTL) sector is one of the UK’s largest employers, with 3.2 million people working in its segments. Despite a poor 2018 in terms of tightening consumer spending, the industry is still one of the top sectors in terms of economic activity, hitting £130 billion last year – besting the UK’s automotive, pharmaceutical and aeronautical sectors’ combined activities.

While the industry is one of the country’s largest employers, it still faces considerable issues around diversity at the top. New analysis from PwC has explored the matter, as well what initiatives the industry has engaged to open up its top ranks to a more diverse background.

Female representation at board level for UK companies and HTLs

According to a survey of CEOs, Chairs or HR Directors of over 100 of the most significant leisure businesses across the UK, the hospitality industry has a relatively male-dominated top level. This lags behind the FTSE 100, where companies have female board level representation at 32.2%. Meanwhile, the figure for the combined executive committee and direct reports stands at 28%. This is well above FTSE 250 levels, where female board level representation stands at 22.4% and executive committee & direct reports stand at 27.8%.

For the hospitality industry as a whole, board level representation came in at 23.6%, with FTSE 350 for the industry performing slightly better at 25.1%, while non-listed companies performed considerably worse at 18.2%. The firm notes that the figures hide that while some companies are making strides to improve equality, others are not moving forward – with the positive result reflecting more often the good work of some, while others are not taking the issue seriously in their agenda setting.

Blind spot

The study states, however, that while the overall numbers are relatively strong, the industry has a number of acute weaknesses. These include CEO numbers, with only 7% of HTL FTSE 350 companies helmed by women and 11% of non-listed companies led by female CEOs. Meanwhile, female chairs at FTSE 350 companies for the sector stand at zero. In terms of wider diversity representation, only 1 in 33 leaders at industry companies is from a BAME background.

Pay gap for HTL and hospitality

The report noted discrepancies between FTSE 100 companies and FTSE 250 in terms of improving the number of women at executive level. The majority have met the Hampton-Alexander Review target of 33% women at board level, up from around 25% in 2016. However, the remaining ~40% are not on target, and are unlikely to meet the target by 2020. A similar trend is noted when it comes to executive committee and direct reporting numbers.

Jon Terry, Diversity & Inclusion Consulting Leader at PwC, said, "To make real progress in diversity and inclusion, businesses need to elevate it onto the CEO’s agenda and align diversity & inclusion strategy to the fundamentals of the business."

Tracking progress FTSE 250 level

However, one area where hospitality travel and leisure companies are outperforming other companies in the wider UK economy, is the mean and median pay gap between men and women. PwC found that the median of the wider UK economy comes is approximately 14% – with upper quartile companies noted for a gap of low 20%, and lower quartile companies noted for differences of around 2%.

The median pay gap for HTL comes in at well below 7%, with the median close to parity. There are considerable differences, however, with hospitality at 7%, while travel comes in considerably higher, at 22%. The latter figure reflects fewer women in higher paid pilot and technical positions within the industry.