Read about the winner and shortlisted entries for this year’s Every Person Counts – the People Strategy Award

Winner: HLM Architects

HLM has launched a diversity and socioeconomic insight survey to understand what action the business should take and measure the impact. The practice has also invested in a new recruitment platform to maximise engagement with the widest range of prospective applicants. HLM’s focus on improving female representation has resulted in 47% of its workforce and 60% of its trust board being female. Four out of five of the firm’s studios are led by women and 14% of staff are from ethnic minorities.

The firm has also restructured its Lifestyle benefits package to focus on four key areas: financial, physical, emotional and social. Standout benefits include £1,400 of healthcare costs cashback, a life-coach bot, an electric car scheme and retail rewards. HLM has trained eight additional mental health first-aiders, signposts mental wellbeing resources monthly through LinkedIn Learning, and holds quarterly workshops through the HLM Academy. Monthly board meetings include a wellbeing report highlighting trends and actions taken.

BA2022 winner every person counts - HLM

Source: Peakography


BA2022 Building Awards 2022 banner



Kier’s people strategy sets out the four key pillars of its business: culture and organisation, diversity and inclusion, talent acquisition, development and retention, and reward and recognition.

In March 2021 the firm carried out its first group-wide diversity and inclusion audit, which confirmed that in the past the firm had not done enough to deliver tangible actions on inclusion. In response to the findings, Kier created a D&I roadmap setting out the milestones it aims to achieve by 2026.

The company has also created five new employee networks, including the Racial Inclusion Network, the Ability Network and the Armed Forces Inclusion Network. Six in total, these networks are designed to drive D&I across Kier and each of them has at least one executive sponsor who takes an active role in supporting networking activities.

Kier has also announced the launch of new family-friendly policies and has enhanced others, including boosting maternity and paternity leave, a dedicated pregnancy loss policy, menopause guidance, and a carers policy.

Rider Levett Bucknall

In the past year, the firm launched a learning and development hub and mentoring programme, celebrated 152 promotions and made solid progress in the delivery of its ambitious diversity and inclusion targets. It introduced an engagement survey to measure employee satisfaction and implemented RLB Forward, its digital transformation programme to change the way that the business operates.

RLB values its independence as a 100% employee-owned business, with every colleague able to buy shares. Some 30% of employees are now shareholders.

The company has published a D&I roadmap, instituted mandatory non-bias training, and brought in a D&I charter signed by all partners to embed behaviours across its 12 offices.

Through its recruitment programmes RLB has widened its talent pools and brought diversity to the workplace by targeting under-represented groups at every level. It also has a new maternity returners programme, enabling 88% of mothers to return from maternity leave, and all roles are advertised as flexible from day one.

Special commendation

DGP Logistics

DGP continues to embed equity, diversity and inclusion principles in its business, supply chain and communities. Its workforce comprises individuals of 25 nationalities, 22 ethnic groups and 38% female. The target to increase female staff by 50% in three years has been met, with a 350% increase between 2018 and 2021.

To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, the female workforce at DGP Logistics attended a virtual interactive session called #iamRemarkable, a Google initiative, empowering women and underrepresented groups to speak openly about their workplace accomplishments.

Meanwhile, chief executive Saheb Dhesi’s vision to educate and encourage children to perceive the construction industry as opening, welcoming and culturally diverse has been carried out by the Ty D Sites children’s book series. The first book is Clearing Floors and Fixing Doors, and the second is Who Stole the Surveyor’s Lunch? The series encourages children of all demographics to consider a career in the industry.