Press release

Diversity body awards Highways England for leadership

Highways England has received national recognition for its work in diversity and inclusion, winning two awards from the National Centre for Diversity.

Our Executive Director for Commercial and Procurement, David Poole, and Diversity manager, Nicky Ensert, both won awards in the most influential individual of the year category at the centre’s award ceremony which took place on 20 January in Birmingham – celebrating the country’s most inspiring and influential people across all industry sectors in relation to diversity.

The Highways England pair received the award for their role in influencing change within the construction industry, including the positive affect on companies across our supply chain.

Highways England’s diversity manager, Nicky Ensert said:

We’re absolutely ecstatic to win acclaim from an organisation like the National Centre for Diversity. Receiving their recognition gives us confidence that we are on the right track and our efforts are making a difference across our industry.

This is a good starting point but we don’t want to stop here. Our ambition is to drive a real step change in how we as an industry , attract and recruit the right mix of skills and expertise from a more diverse talent pool; creating inclusive working cultures; and delivering a level of customer service that takes account of customers and communities diverse needs.

Executive Director for Commercial and Procurement, David Poole said:

It’s an honour to receive this award from the National Centre for Diversity.

However there’s still a long way to go to ensure the sector innovates and delivers in this area and we’re committed to supporting the supply chain further to bring about much needed change.

Representatives from two Highways England suppliers, Julie Bradley of Interserve and Vicky Worthington of Kier had also been shortlisted in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) lead of the year category.

The National Centre for Diversity works with organisations to advance fairness in the workplace and embed best practice in relation to EDI.

Solat Chaudhry, CEO of the National Centre, said:

Nicky and David are encouraging and supporting giant private highways construction companies to make genuine and sustainable improvements that will help them improve and transform their EDI practices.

My whole hearted congratulations go to them and Highways England.

Highways England recently helped develop and launch the new online FIR toolkit alongside partners to promote fairness, inclusion and respect in the industry. This was funded by the Construction Industry Training Board.

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