Investing in diversity to deliver social sustainability

Setting an ambitious new target for gender balance is a significant step in the process to deliver overdue change in a sector that continues to lack diversity. Becoming more diverse and inclusive is a key strand of the business’ mission to be the recognised leader for innovation and excellence.

Laing O’Rourke has therefore set a new target to ensure the number of men and women employed in its international staff (currently 5500 people) are equal by 2033, with additional gender-focused initiatives to be set out to improve representation among frontline construction workers.

It will also apply the learnings from the successful pilot of a Gender Diversity Action Plan in Australia, and the STEM+ schools programme that is now being delivered on construction projects in both operating hubs.

Other mechanisms proven to increase female participation in the business include specific recruitment strategies targeting women, a referral bonus scheme, sponsorship of emerging female leaders and mandatory inclusivity training for senior and hiring managers. By implementing these measures, the company now has 36% more women in senior project roles in Australia than 12 months ago.

The company will also develop plans to increase the representation of people from different groups, and will continue its work to transform the inclusivity and sustainability of construction careers by:

  • Investing in its DfMA led operating model and the upskilling of its people to make Laing O’Rourke an employer of choice for more people
  • Providing its people with more dynamic and flexible working options
  • Implementing its wellbeing strategy (Life at LOR) across the entire business to protect people from occupational ill health, including implementation of wellbeing lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Link gender and cultural diversity outcomes to the success metrics of projects.