Laing O’Rourke targets staff gender balance by 2033

Aaron Morby 6 months ago
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Laing O’Rourke has set itself the target of employing equal numbers of men and women among its 5,500 global staff by 2033.

As part of a fresh mission statement for the private contractor moving forward, Laing O’Rourke also sets out its ambition to decarbonise its business achieving operational net zero by 2030

Laing O’Rourke  CEO, Ray O’Rourke, said: “We’ve made progress delivering our environmental plan, but the simple fact is the climate emergency demands we do more and with greater urgency. The same is true of diversity, which remains unacceptably low in our sector.

“The construction industry has some difficult challenges to solve, most notably that of reducing the embodied carbon in concrete.

“But I know our people have the passion to make a real difference and the experience to work with others, including our clients and partners, to deliver the progress required.”

He added that setting an ambitious gender balance target was a significant step towards delivering overdue change in a sector that continues to lack diversity.

The target will apply to office and project management staff. Additional gender-focused initiatives will also seek to improve representation among frontline site workers.

Laing O’Rourke will roll out learnings from a successful pilot of a Gender Diversity Action Plan in Australia, and the STEM+ schools programme.

To increase the numbers of women, a referral bonus scheme is being introduced alongside specific recruitment strategies targeting women.

The firm will also sponsor emerging female leaders and mandatory inclusivity training for senior and hiring managers.

In Australia, these measures, helped to raise by over a third the number of women in senior project roles in 12 months.

To increase the representation of people from different groups, the contractor plans more flexible working options and rolling out its Life at LOR well-being strategy across the entire business.

For operational net zero by 2030, the aim is to cut carbon emissions from its directly controlled operations (Scope 1 & 2 emissions) by least 75% by 2030. The remaining 25% will be achieved through carbon removal activities or offsetting.

A new role of independent Group Advisor on Climate Change and Sustainability has been filled by Samantha Hoe-Richardson, a board-level leader from global mining, infrastructure and insurance industries.

She will advise the company’s environmental and technical leaders and challenge the Board and Group Executive on progress towards our new targets.

Teams are developing plans to further improve energy efficiency and to transition to biofuels as a stepping-stone to the full electrification of operations, including car fleet and plant.

To cut scope 3 supply chain emissions suppliers will be required to embed data capture and reporting across all projects. The firm will work with strategic suppliers to develop emissions reduction targets.

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