female hs2 worker on site

HS2 has published its annual EDI report, which showcases how the company is continuing to challenge the national supply chain and rail industry through diversity and inclusion

HS2’s annual EDI report shows that the company continues to beat industry averages for the number of female and BAME employees working on the project, with the supply chain achieving 28% and 18% respectively.

With all three phases of the project now live, and HS2’s journey north beginning, challenge and opportunity come in equal measure.

The report showed that HS2’s female workforce reached 37%, whilst the number of BAME employees peaked at 22%.

Attracting more women and BAME candidates into employment

Natalie Penrose, head of legacy at HS2 commented: “HS2’s construction is gathering pace by the day, and we now have a 25,000-strong workforce spread across more than 350 sites. HS2’s scale brings the reality of our challenge to life, given the white male dominance that has gripped the rail and civil engineering sectors for many years.

“But every challenge brings opportunity, and I’m proud of the huge waves we are making to address national skills shortages, the threat of an ageing workforce in engineering and in attracting more women and BAME candidates into employment on the project.”

Staff are empowered to share their experiences and expertise on a range of initiatives

HS2 has a collective membership of over 1,650 people across eight networking groups. Staff are empowered to share their experiences and expertise on a range of initiatives from gender balance, the inclusion of ethnic minority staff, challenging homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and promoting disability awareness.

Engaging employees in the strategy, policy and decision making processes had driven positive change and key achievements during the year 2021/2022.

To mark International Disabled People’s Day in December, HS2 launched its accessibility policy and digital accessibility hub, which seeks to address the needs of disabled employees and ensure that staff recognise the adjustments they can make to support their colleagues and the wider workforce.

HS2 is also forming partnerships with schools, specialist employment support services and charitable groups along the line of route to help them to achieve best practice.

This includes work with SEND schools and specialist schools for the deaf, which helps the company to understand the design changes that they can implement to make stations and trains accessible for all.


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