The Board is responsible for driving the diversity agenda throughout the organisation, supported by an independently chaired Diversity Steering Group comprised of senior business leaders from all business areas, as well as the chairs of our employee diversity networks. The Steering Group identifies group-wide strategy and facilitates business-specific diversity action plans to drive the diversity agenda.
The Board remains committed to developing a culture that encourages the inclusion and diversity of all of the Group’s employees, respecting and appreciating their differences and promoting the continuous development of employees through skills enhancement and training programmes.
Mitie is keen to ensure that all aspects of diversity are considered in the promotion, retention and development of the talent pipeline throughout the group as well as at Board level. We have recently introduced Board-level targets around gender, race and age for each of our businesses.
We are working on a number of innovative approaches to recruiting, supporting and developing disabled talent including a project to support people on the autistic spectrum in the construction industry, and supporting people with learning disabilities. We are now approaching our third cohort on our industry-leading initiative, 'Think Differently'.
The project sees us partnering with Remploy- the UK’s leading provider of specialist disability employment, National Autistic Society (NAS) - the UK’s leading charity for autistic people and their families - and Geason Training. Together we produced a programme that would not only challenge the perceptions of disabilities in the workplace but that would also give valuable work experience to people with a wider range of disabilities. As a group we put together a structure that we feel will deliver the best outcomes for everyone involved in the project.
The 'Think Differently' programme is running over an 18 month period, during which it will give a minimum of 60 candidates an opportunity to participate in the 12 week programme. The candidates are provided by both Remploy and NAS across the whole of the UK. We are now moving in to our third cohort starting mid-June and so far the programme has been a great success with 6 out of 16 candidates that have taken part gaining full-time employment, some with Mitie and some in wider industry.
Following a highly successful Diversity Week in 2016, the Diversity Steering Group has agreed to promote quarterly diversity themes over the next 12 months: unconscious bias, disability, wellbeing and ethnic minority talent. Mitie’s four employee networks are also working together to hold relevant events to support these themes and others, to promote awareness.
The networks are also working on year-long plans, with measurable objectives and deliverables, such as reviewing Mitie’s people policies to ensure they are as inclusive as possible.
We introduced targets for age, gender and ethnicity for each of our business boards this year. We intend to publish the set targets and our progress in next year’s report