Helen Redfern appointed as Kier’s chief people officer

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Helen Redfern has secured the role as Kier’s chief people officer following her successful approach to HR in the construction industry

Helen Redfern will become Kier‘s chief people officer, a newly-formed position, which will oversee all HR responsibilities as well as spearheading Kier’s approach to health, safety and wellbeing and pushing forward ESG strategies.

As Kier’s chief people officer, Redfern will be part of Kier’s Building for a Sustainable World framework. The framework aims to make meaningful change in carbon, diversity, inclusion and social value.

Redfern will also pioneer new initiatives and strategies to deliver sustainable infrastructure as part of her new role.

Redfern already has significant experience in HR

Redfern first joined Kier in 2012 and since then has been promoted to group HR director in 2019. She helped to transform Kier’s HR function in a number of ways. For example:

  • Redfern launched a career development programme for all 11,000 employees
  • introduced impressive family-friendly policies
  • created the Kier Inclusion Network
  • rolled out a diversity and inclusion campaign called Expect Respect
  • made construction a more accessible industry by expanding apprenticeship numbers
  • expanded a programme to help ex-offenders called Making Ground

In 2020, Helen was named as one of 100 senior leaders in INvolve’s global HERoes 2021 Executive Role Model Lists and the only person from the construction industry to be featured in any of the Role Model lists.

‘I am proud of what we have achieved, breaking down barriers and providing people opportunities to develop’

Andrew Davies, chief executive at Kier, said:

“I am delighted Helen is expanding her role as our new chief people officer. She will continue to oversee our progressive people agenda as well as drive forward our health, safety and wellbeing and sustainability strategy, all of which are critically important to ensuring we deliver on our purpose.”

Helen Redfern added:

“Over the last ten years, I’ve had the privilege of working with some fantastic teams who have pioneered change within Kier and across the construction industry. I am proud of what we have achieved, breaking down barriers and providing people opportunities to develop, further their learning, progress, and importantly thrive.

“In this new role, I’m looking forward to continuing to drive forward positive change to truly make a difference to our people, wider society and the planet.”

Kier has seen a 20% increase in applications thanks to a social media campaign

In early 2022, Kier launched a social media campaign called ‘I’m proud’ to encourage colleagues to post about their proudest achievements, whether this is helping local communities or reflecting on personal goals.

Hundreds of Kier employees, from managing directors to site managers and apprentices, have posted on LinkedIn which has resulted in a diverse new talent pool looking to join the industry and a 20% increase in applications to the group compared to the previous quarter.

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