National Equality Standard Approach to Diversity & Inclusion

18 Jul 2017

Lendlease was recently recognised for its progressive approach to diversity and inclusion, becoming the first property group and one of the first construction companies in the United Kingdom to be awarded the National Equality Standard (NES).ยน

The NES is a business-led initiative designed to set clear, diversity and inclusion criteria, which companies are assessed against. Although it’s become the accepted standard for inclusiveness in business across the United Kingdom, only 15 companies have achieved the standard so far. 

Ernst & Young independently assessed the standard, and praised Lendlease for taking a leading role in this sector.

We are committed to a level playing field for all our employees, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and disability, giving equal opportunity for everyone to succeed.

As part of our inclusion strategy, we are focusing on embedding flexible work; achieving gender equity; and building inclusive leadership. Our dedicated Diversity & Inclusion team drives strategy and policy development, helping to ensure that we focus daily on creating an inclusive workplace.

We also have Employee Resource Groups to advocate for diversity issues across our regions, including LGBTI, Accessibility, Cultural Diversity, Gender Equity and Workplace Flexibility. 

Our Europe team, took part in the Pride in London Parade to march together with leading engineering and construction firms to champion LGBT inclusion under the collective banner of #BuildingEquality. 

Neil Martin, Managing Director, Construction, Europe, said, “At Lendlease we know that unless individuals feel able to be themselves and are comfortable in their own skin, they cannot be at their best.
NATIONAL EQUALITY STANDARD APPROACH TO DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
“We believe nobody should have to hide who they are and we are proud to be one of the firms leading the way towards building equality in the construction industry.”

In Australia, we are amongst the leading organisations recognised by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality. Last year we became eligible for ‘Platinum Employer’ status under the  Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) due to our longstanding efforts and rankings with the Top 10 and Top 20 companies for LGBTI inclusion – the only property and construction company ranked as far as are aware.

Our collaboration with the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia over three years delivered the ‘Construction Industry: Demolishing Gender Structures’ report. The report reveals the challenges facing large construction companies in attracting, retaining and supporting the progression of women. It highlights new approaches for achieving gender equality in the sector. Not only have we started adopting these new approaches internally, we have started sharing the research with our peers. 

This year Lendlease Americas received a score of 100 per cent on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI)², placing the business on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s list of ‘Best Places to Work’ for LGBT workplace equality. 

Our industry is rapidly evolving and the video below highlights how we are at the forefront of these changes.
The outcome of living out our vision: To create the best places, should mean that all people feel equally welcomed – that their basic needs are met so that each can work and live with dignity and respect. With this in mind, Lendlease developed the ‘Design for Dignity’ guidelines in partnership with Westpac and Australian Network on Disability.

These guidelines form a fundamental part of the voluntary commitment to accessibility and inclusion at Lendlease. They reflect the idea that creating a design is not just about equal access, but dignified equal access. It is about recognising that disability is not a physical impairment rather it is when a physical impairment is combined with an environment that causes a disability. 

Diversity & Inclusion is one of our guiding principles and truly defines how we do business. It drives our thinking, actions, processes and benchmarks and keeps us focused and reminds us that we are committed to progress, but not at all costs. 

¹ The standard was developed by business for business and sets out clear equality, diversity and inclusion criteria.  
² The CEI is a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.