CIHT Diversity and Inclusion Award


Oldbury Viaduct Major Renewal Scheme



M5 Oldbury Viaduct is a unique project, being delivered within a densely populated urban environment with many residents, businesses and stakeholders. The scope of works includes the total refurbishment of the reinforced concrete deck along the entire 3.2km length of the structure with associated drainage and communication systems renewal. BMV and our client Highways England, believe that a diverse, inclusive team achieves better results through the mix of different cultures, skills and experiences, ultimately driving innovation and collaboration.

The project team realised that for a project of this scale, employing over 400 people for 2 years, a step change in the typical approach was required to address the industry skills shortage and an ageing workforce. BMV have raised awareness of the construction industry in the local community and given many local people the chance to develop a career through non-traditional routes.
BMV is committed to leaving a lasting legacy for the Sandwell area and the M5 Oldbury Viaduct scheme provided us with an excellent opportunity to attract, recruit and retain a diverse workforce, as much as possible from the local area.

Our dedicated skills team used this as a basis for our approach and developed our targeted, proactive long-term strategies to access communities, educational organisations and other employment initiatives to recruit talent from both traditional and non-traditional routes.

Judges Comments

The BMV JV has displayed fresh thinking and shown willingness to take risk in their approach to diversity and inclusion at this project. A wide range of initiatives have been used, involving both ex-offenders, engaging with a charity for homeless and people with learning disabilities. The initiatives have all been measured and the outcomes are impressive. The D&I agenda was championed from the top of the organisation but driven through the whole organisation and supply chain as well. 

Highly Commended 

Diversity genuinely matters to Kier Highways and we strongly believe a balanced and inclusive workforce is not only the right thing to do it is essential for us to continue to build a strong performing, successful business.

Kier Highways – Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Journey

Kier Highways Ltd

We lead by example, working in collaboration with clients, customers and through our Collaborative Learning Circle (CLC) working with our delivery partners to raise standards of inclusivity across the industry. We learn from others and use our influence and drive to bring about real change.

We recognise and actively encourage the value of a diverse and inclusive workplace. Engaged employees drive successful performance throughout the business, generate a strong safety performance and deliver higher levels of customer service.
Key highlights of our ED&I journey over the past 12m include:

  • Disability Confident - Disability Confident Leader - first construction company to receive award.
  • Wellbeing - 6 videos entitled “Safety in Mind” launched, focussing the mental health and well-being effects of a near-miss incident.
  • Women Leaders - Louise McCann awarded European Best Woman in Highways at WICE awards.
  • OnSide Youth Zones – CLC has raised almost £900,000 within the past 12m for OnSide and seeking to create 5,000 new apprenticeships over the next 5 years.

Judges Comments

A compelling and broad range of initiatives have been taken by Kier Highways in their efforts to improve the diversity of the organisation. Ambitious targets and the comprehensive measurement of their progress is very positive and evidence their commitment to the Diversity & Inclusion agenda. 


Mott MacDonald’s equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategy is firmly embedded within the organisation through Advance, their grassroots employee network and top-level strategic diversity committee. The network includes board members, business unit champions, office champions, protected characteristics-focused groups and a 3-person EDI team. 

Advancing equality, diversity and inclusion at Mott MacDonald

Mott MacDonald

Uniquely, Advance champions are provided with half a day of protected time per month to deliver agreed actions, demonstrating real commitment to creating an inclusive workplace culture. EDI is one of five core regional business objectives.

Advance has a wide range of initiatives including the reverse mentoring scheme – which connects junior black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), disabled and/or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) staff with senior leaders over twelve months. The initiative supports diversity in the management pipeline while building more inclusive styles of leadership.

The impact of their EDI efforts is carefully measured. One indicator is the increased awareness of unconscious bias - in 2014 55% of staff were aware of the concept of unconscious bias, now following a multi-layered unconscious bias learning programme, this is now 92%.

Mott MacDonald continues to expand its EDI efforts, growing its Advance network to deliver locally and strategically with the network also consulted on wider HR/people projects.

Judges Comments

The judges commended the range of initiatives embedded at all levels of business in the UK and beyond. The judges were particularly impressed with the outreach to people who have been without a job for some time and the use of external benchmarking to assess progress.


Arup’s mission is to shape a better world and it is through the diverse range of skills and ideas from their employees that enable them to do this.  Arup is creating an inclusive environment that embraces the opportunities that different skills and experiences bring to their work, and to the services they offer their clients.

Shaping a better world through equality, diversity and inclusion at Arup


Arup ran an extensive internal consultation throughout 2018 to develop their EDI strategy for the next three years. The four key themes for their action plan includes:

  1. Becoming a diverse workforce at all grades of the firm.
  2. Aligning their culture and behaviours with becoming more inclusive.
  3. Making EDI integral to how they deliver our projects and work.
  4. Demonstrating leadership on EDI internally and externally.

EDI is core to Arup’s organisational values and is fundamental to how they treat each other and how they interface with their stakeholders, that includes clients, partners, and contractors.

Arup’s entry demonstrates that EDI features at all levels within the firm, from being on the Board agenda to supporting a range of EDI initiatives and networking events across the industry and in their communities throughout the business, demonstrating how EDI is now intrinsically part of Arup’s DNA, with a vibrant community of people who are engaging, educating and ensuring EDI is now commonplace when working on projects and with their clients.

Judges Comments

Initiatives led from Board level and embedded in different business streams. Particularly good initiatives for inclusion. Exciting use of International Men’s Day to do a meaningful campaign that relates to the D&I strategy in the organisation itself as well as the aims of IMD.

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