Laing O’Rourke launches WINLab commitments


For the last 10 months, Laing O’Rourke has been working to increase diversity on its London sites as part of the Greater London Authority’s Workforce Integration Network (GLA WIN) Design Labs.

As part of the programme, Laing O’Rourke committed to developing an action plan to address representation of young black men in its organisation. Laing O’Rourke’s Religion, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage (R.E.A.C.H) subcommittee worked in collaboration with leaders from across the business to create a project focused action plan that will, initially be trialled on two of Laing O’Rourke’s London sites.

There are three key elements to the plan:

  1. Reaching further to engage a more diverse pool of talent and inspire the next generation. This will see a more targeted approach to local recruitment, creating and maintaining partnerships with diverse recruiters, collaboration with our supply chain and educational campaigns to attract the next generation of talent who are local to Laing O’Rourke projects.
  2. Create an inclusive recruitment process through inclusive advertising, blind CVs and applications, and diverse interview panels.
  3. Working to ensure our site workplace environment is inclusive and welcoming, where there are equal opportunities to develop and progress.

Laing O’Rourke is one of eleven companies participating in the initiative supported by the Mayor of London, which is the first of its kind. Members of the REACH subcommittee participated in educational monthly workshops, addressing matters of race and ethnicity in the workplace.

On Thursday 25 November, GLA Win Design Labs hosted its closing ceremony marking the implementation of Laing O’Rourke’s action plan.

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At Laing O’Rourke it is our mission to become the recognised leader for innovation and excellence in the construction industry and to achieve that goal we rely on the diverse experience of highly talented people. Competing for top talent with other sectors we need to make sure that our organisation is attractive, inclusive and that it engenders a culture where people feel they belong and  can thrive. Ours is a sector where diversity remains unacceptably low. It is still dominated by people from a white background in senior roles, with those from an ethnic minority background featuring among the junior and low pay positions. It has to be tackled head on across the industry, and within our own organisation.

“When we launched our sustainability targets in April of this year, we committed to increase the representation of people from different groups, and to continue to work to transform the inclusivity and sustainability of construction careers. We have scoped out an action plan with our Diversity & Inclusion sub-committees playing a critical role in shaping a future approach.”

Declan McGeeney executive sponsor of the R.E.A.C.H subcommittee
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Laing O’Rourke has ambitious targets surrounding diversity and inclusion. The Design Labs were a great learning opportunity and formed the basis of our plan to attracting a diverse pool of talent into the business.”

Paul Matthews Project Technical Leader and GLA Design Labs workstream lead for REACH