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Completed: Can workforce diversity stimulate transformation towards a more sustainable future? 

In collaboration with Ferrovial Construction UK & Ireland

The Foundation Industries face stark challenges that are worsened by a persistent lack of workforce diversity. In 2020, women represented 16% and BAME workers only 7.1% of all workers. Coinciding with a looming skills shortage due to an ageing workforce, difficulties in recruiting and retaining gender and ethnic minorities have been compounded by the effects of COVID-19 and Brexit restricting access to markets previously relied upon to reconcile shortages in labour supply. In pursuing workforce sustainability through diversity and inclusion, the Foundation Industries can achieve transformation by not only addressing skills shortages, but in accessing innovation through new management and organisational structures to pursue net-zero goals.

The team conducted an intensive case study in the concrete industry combining data on pay, pay progression and retention to understand the factors that contribute to exit and/or lack of pay progression. The project identified the underlying causes of high rates of attrition for women and ethnic minorities and lack of diversity in the Foundation Industries, aiming to find solutions that may stimulate sustainability and innovation through increased diversification and inclusion. The project produced a set of evidence-based recommendations in relation to how organisations can minimise pay gaps, improve inclusion and retention of women and minorities, as well as support sustainability particularly in the way of working.

Prof. Jennifer Tomlinson

University of Leeds

Published: March 8th, 2023
Posted in projects

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