HS2, a legacy of inclusion will only be achieved with exemplary EDI practice
In a first for not only their sector but for the UK as a whole, HS2 were recently confirmed by the Clear Company as the first organisation to achieve the prestigious Clear Assured Gold Award for their efforts to improve Diversity and Inclusion at the rail and infrastructure giant. Their ambition, as stated in the HS2 Corporate Plan 2019 -2022, was that they would achieve Silver Level Clear Assured accreditation by 2020 and so this level of over achievement means HS2 is truly leading the way for others to follow right across the sector.
The focus on Diversity and Inclusion being essential for the success of the HS2 project is embedded in a mandate for a legacy of inclusion across the infrastructure sector. The mandate was developed as a response to the clear challenges that face the sector as a whole; both from an impending talent shortage facing the market and the clear need to embrace a rapidly changing demographic that is constantly evolving the UK working population. The first step was to identify and adopt an Accredited Standard that would direct and measure progress as HS2 moved along their inclusion journey and, following a successful tender response from the Clear Company, Clear Assured was the chosen solution.
Having taken the lead, and set a very high standard, HS2 have stated in their Corporate Plan 2019 -2022 they require their supply chain to adopt an EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) Standard in order for them to achieve the goal of delivering a long lasting and sustainable positive impact on the diversity of the market as a whole.
Whilst HS2 is not mandating any individual standard, organisations should consider the benefits of adopting a standard that is easily comparable to that set by HS2 and is based on an holistic pan-diversity approach that effectively measures the positive impact of change on organisational EDI.
Clear Assured is already the chosen standard of performance measurement for Highways England and the Department for Transport and so there are broader benefits to be achieved by adopting the same vehicle for practice development.
Managing Consultant at the Clear Company, Jen Davidson commented “Organisations that use the Clear Assured Standard to generate change within their markets are undoubtedly further along the EDI spectrum than most. Embedding a culture of innovation to challenge existing behaviours and to attract the ever-changing diversity of our working population overcomes potential skill shortages and facilitates both growth and productivity. However, this requires real commitment to work and think differently. Organisations that succeed do this very well.”
The Clear Company have been working to bring about positive change for 16 years and are recognised as global leaders of inclusive talent management insight, training and technology. Clear Assured is a recognised Diversity and Inclusion standard and is the only software platform that gives HR and Diversity teams clear direction, tools and benchmarking capability. It is a fully accessible, digital platform supporting the broadest spectrum of organisations from the single person operation through to Global PLCs with just in time guidance, strategic direction and online access to help at all times.