January 17, 2022

Construction industry leaders sign pledge to embrace diversity in the workforce

A campaign encouraging construction workers to embrace diversity and boost conversations around mental health has been backed by a major industry player undertaking work for HS2 and a variety of other key projects.

Mace Dragados is the first construction joint venture working on the HS2 project to back the #MakeItStick campaign – recently launched by leading supplier of labour, Fortel – with staff at HS2 Euston who have undertaken Mental Health First Aid, Mental Health Awareness, Fairness, Inclusion & Respect or LGBTQ+ Ally training now wearing a sticker on their hard-hat to represent this.

This will allow for easier identification of those trained individuals, who can provide support and conversations around these subjects to be started more freely between peers.

To signal the start of the new partnership, Fortel’s Diversity Advisor, Sharon Slinger, has led LGBTQ+ Ally sessions for staff at Euston, with those in attendance now able to wear an ‘LGBTQ+ Ally’ sticker on their hard-hat.

Amar Sandhawalia, Fortel Group Chief Operating Officer, said: “The aim of the #MakeItStick campaign is to open conversations not just at job sites but across the whole construction industry.

“Having Mace Dragados’ and HS2’s support is a huge step forward for the campaign and we want to encourage others to now join us – we want people to truly be themselves and just knowing someone is there to talk to is a big step in the right direction.”

The campaign was launched by Fortel in May this year, with their 2,000 plus team at sites across the UK the first to undergo training and to apply their new stickers.

The company will continue to seek new partners and training schemes to help ensure the impact of the #MakeItStick campaign can be as far-reaching as possible.

(L-R) Jackie Duncan, Stakeholders and Communities Director, HS2 Euston Station Integrated Project Team; Pamela McInroy, Senior Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager Operations & Design, HS2 Ltd and Nick Jones, Head of Labour Supplies, Fortel

Pamela McInroy, Senior Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager: Operations & Design, HS2 Ltd, said: “The ‘Make It Stick’ campaign highlights the fundamentals of inclusion on our construction sites. Inclusive sites are safer sites and these are sites which ensures that all of our staff can feel safe and turn up to work being their true and authentic self. The ‘Make It Stick’ campaign will help provide a safe space for operatives who may be dealing with issues around mental health, wellness and their own safety. A truly important and innovative initiative.”

Jackie Duncan, Stakeholders and Communities Director, HS2 Euston Station Integrated Project Team, added: “At Mace Dragados, we are passionate about creating a rewarding project, full of opportunity for everyone. The ‘Make it Stick’ campaign is an important tool we are using to foster an inclusive and fair working environment at our sites and offices.  This simple initiative gives a clear visual indicator reminding staff of the importance of valuing and respecting each other, prompts conversations on historically difficult topics and if they are in need of help, points them to colleagues who have been trained to listen and support.”