Diversity is a crucial issue in the construction industry, and this year’s category entries prove that it is being taken very seriously. And by no firm more so than winner Lakehouse

Diversity champion of the year, sponsored by Polypipe


When it comes to diversity, Lakehouse is a company that is really showing the way for the construction sector. The contractor recruited 58 trainees last year, of which 40% were from black and minority ethnic communities and 22% were female. The company also established its own social enterprise - the Building Lives Training Academy - which provides opportunities in construction for previously excluded individuals. The academy includes a recently opened training school at Arlington House in north London, which will provide 120 people a year with a City & Guilds qualification in maintenance work, and guarantee jobs for successful candidates. The school, which is based on a hostel in New York, provides individuals with employment, training and a place to sleep. But Lakehouse’s work doesn’t stop with new recruits to the industry. The company also exhibits at “meet the buyer” events to encourage small businesses led by women or people from ethnic minorities to work with it, and runs a regular management course to improve the promotion prospects of women in the industry.

Balfour Beatty

Balfour Beatty’s commitment to promoting diversity is apparent on its flagship 2012 Olympics aquatics centre site, on which it offers training and apprenticeship opportunities for under-represented groups.

Byrne Group

Byrne Group has a long-standing track record in recruiting employees from non-traditional backgrounds, with staff from 25 different countries, 19% of whom are female.

Crofton Design

Young construction hopefuls are given a chance at Crofton, where 33% of current staff are under 30. In addition, the company runs a young engineer engagement programme.


Lakehouse has showed its commitment to diversity by founding an academy to provide opportunities in construction for previously excluded individuals, including a training school in north London.

Olympic Delivery Authority

Employing twice the average number of women in manual trades, the ODA has augmented its diversity policy with outreach projects, mentoring, work placements and training opportunities.