HS2 Ltd’s annual Equality, Diversity and Inclusion report for 2020/21 shows that it continues to play a leading role in driving best practice and quality standards across the industry.

In what has been a difficult year for the sector, with the pandemic forcing fast-paced changes to where and how a large majority of its employees and suppliers work, HS2 Ltd has continued to drive change and improve working practices for the 16,000 strong workforce currently supporting the delivery of Britain’s new railway.

Ensuring that equality, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of everything HS2 stands for has remained a focal point and in 2021, the organisation achieved its strategic goal of being an exemplar of EDI practice. This was evidenced by it becoming the first organisation in the UK to achieve the highest level of accreditation, Platinum status, against the Clear Assured accreditation framework.

As a longevity project with a supply chain encompassing thousands of companies of all sizes, HS2 recognises the vital role that it can play in driving positive change across the sector. Its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Skills, Employment and Education strategies set out its ambitious targets to bring local people and underrepresented groups into employment, whilst simultaneously creating opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses UK-wide to grow.

Key achievements during the 2020/21 financial year include:

  • Exceeding the infrastructure sector average for women in employment (38% versus 21%)
  • Meeting the increased target HS2 Ltd set itself for BAME employees (21% – a 2% increase from last year)
  • HS2 Ltd securing Disability Confident Leader status and four of its Tier 1 suppliers also securing accreditation (EKFB JV and SCS JV achieved Leadership Status, whilst Aecom and Atkins attained Level 2 as Disability Confident Employers)

Mark Lomas, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at HS2 Ltd said:

“I am proud of the strides we continue to make in ensuring that HS2 is designed and delivered by a team that values and respects equality, diversity and inclusion.

“We are delivering a railway that will benefit Britain’s diverse communities for decades to come, so it is imperative that we challenge ourselves every step of the way to drive change, lead innovation and leave a lasting legacy”.

HS2 Ltd is a values-led organisation which embeds its four key principles ‘Respect’, ‘Integrity’, ‘Health and Safety’ and ‘Leadership’ into the heart of its daily working practices.  It has a growing number of employee networks who are passionate about improving EDI outcomes for employees working on the project and the communities HS2 will serve.

HS2 Ltd’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion report for 2020/21 is available here