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New British Standard in Diversity and Inclusion


As Britain becomes an ever more diverse society it seems incredible that there are still so many sectors of business and industry that hold on to outdated ideas. 

Highwire is positioned squarely at the heart of two prime examples – engineering and construction. The Highwire directors recognise the real potential of a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Several years ago they took the decision not to sit back and wait for things to change but to become actively involved with the movement for modernisation of employment practices.    

Joining a British Standards Institute committee, on behalf of the Women’s Engineering Society, Highwire Director and Chief Engineer Elizabeth Rickard has worked extensively (alongside her day job!) to promote the cause.

This effort bore real fruit last month with the launch, on 4 May 2017, of British Standard BS 76005 Valuing people through Diversity and Inclusion.

This video was produced by Manchester Business School who, in association with The Fairness at Work Research Centre, hosted the launch of the standard following its publication:

The new standard:

….provides a framework and recommendations for employers, and gives guidance on how companies can look beyond the protected characteristics such gender, race and disability described by the Equality Act 2010.   

Diversity & Inclusion are core to the Highwire business model. As well as being central to the development of BS 76005, Elizabeth Rickard has been actively promoting the standard and its principles.

Recently interviewed by Recruiter.co.uk, Elizabeth said that the key message for recruiters from the new Standard was that they should no longer look at a role and the kind of individual needed to fill it, but at a person’s capacity to do a role.

She continued:

“Employers shouldn’t assume that because a job had always been done or organised in a certain way this should ontinue. We assume that hours and place of work are part of the role, but when we break it down that is often not the case in the modern world.” “For example, through the use of technology, it can be fulfilled in a number of different places in a number of different times if it suits the company and the individual”.

You can read the full article on recruiter.co.uk here

The new British Standard isn’t Elizabeth’s only current work in the field. She has also recently been involved as a judge in the prestigious Women in Construction and Engineering (WICE) Awards which were announced at a gala evening in central London on 24 May. Read the full story here 

If you would like to know more about how the new standard can help benefit your business you can contact Elizabeth here


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Highwire judge at WICE Awards 2017


Highwire are again pleased to be supporting the annual Women in Construction and Engineering (WICE) Awards.

A great night for all at the 2017 Women in Construction and Engineering Awards 

Women represent only 11% of the construction workforce in the UK and most of these jobs are office-based and only 2% work in manual jobs. When it comes to women in engineering only 9 per cent of UK engineering professionals are women, 18 percent in Spain, 26 percent in Sweden and 20 percent in Italy.

According to the Department of Civil & Building Engineering, Loughborough University, UK;

"The construction sector plays an important role in economic growth. However, the sector remains 
male-dominated and women’s growing role as decision-makers and buyers is not reflected by their 
input into construction innovation and creativity."

The aim of the WICE awards is to make Construction and Engineering more enticing to women. To create role models for women considering a career in these sectors, while encouraging companies to employ and train more women in these industries”.

Following a great launch event in 2016, the 2017 awards event held at the Hilton Bankside, London on 24th May were equally successful. Another great event celebrating diversity and inclusivity of women in construction and engineering.

Sponsors of WICE 2017

Judging process

For the 2017 awards, Highwire Finance Director and Senior Engineer, Liz Rickard, joined a panel of almost 60 industry professionals assessing over 150 finalists across 24 award categories.

Judging was carried out over an intense day at the end of April. Following detailed assessments of all finalists during the day, the judges’ decisions were finalised at the evening Judges Dinner. 

Some images from Judging Day

Highwire commitment

Highwire height Safety operates at the heart od a sector where there is recognised potential for significant progress in diversity and inclusion. We are committed to working proactively to encourage, develop and implement best practice to ensure the widest opportunity for all across construction and engineering. 

To find out more about our work in  this area, or to discuss your height safety needs with a company who really cares, do get in touch 

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BSIF Launches its Election Manifesto


As the 2017 General Election approaches the British Safety Industry Federation is calling on the next Government to ensure that Britain retains its world leading position in occupational safety and health.

The BSIF is committed to the maintenance and continuing improvement of occupational health and safety across the UK

You may have recently seen the 1977 film of Blue Peter’s John Noakes (RIP) climbing Nelson’s Column. It is almost impossible to believe that sort of thing was common practice less than a generation ago!

 The new manifesto calls on the next government to be fully behind their aims and policy built around 4 pillars:

  1. Promoting the image and reputation of safety and health.
  2. Ensuring a good deal for the UK safety industry and workers in a global market.
  3. Enhancing the quality of safety products in the market and user knowledge.
  4. Implementing the Health & Safety Executive’s Helping Great Britain Work Well strategy.

Naturally, Highwire fully endorse the BSIF proposals

If you would like to read the manifesto in full, you can download it here

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