Survey of 30,000 staff shows which firms offer the most benefits and the best company culture

The construction industry’s best 75 employers have been revealed by this year’s Building Good Employer Guide.

Among the firms to figure were Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSH+P), which was judged the most inspiring firm to work for, and Max Fordham, which was the outstanding consulting engineer.

Davis Langdon, EC Harris and Rider Levett Bucknall came first among the larger QSs.

The survey reveals how poorly women are represented in the industry’s senior management. Although architects are the most likely to employ female staff, women make up on average fewer than 1.5 of their equity partners. Contractors employed fewer than one female director, engineers two and consultants three.

Max Fordham was the only firm to give women a significant representation at the top level, with 18 female equity partners out of 156 staff.

RSH+P offered the best maternity and paternity deals: a year’s full pay for mothers and a month’s full pay for fathers.

On average, employees were happiest in firms with between 51 and 250 staff, and were least happy in large firms. The most popular medium-sized firms were 8Build, AA Projects, Max Fordham, P+HS Architects and Price & Myers.

The large consultants spent the most on training, with the most generous firm, EC Harris, investing £3,500 per employee per year.

The survey was compiled by Hannah Fox, director of Hannah Fox consulting, from a survey of about 30,000 employees. Staff were asked to grade their firms on six criteria: corporate social responsibility, work–life balance, the feel good factor, inspiration, leadership and ability to contribute.

Contractors received the highest single score (7.9 out of 10) for social responsibility followed by engineers for ability to contribute (7.5). The lowest scores were given to architects for inspiration and consultants for leadership (5.5).