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Fri January 28 2022

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Multiplex commits to gender balance for graduates

3 Dec 21 Multiplex has promised that 50% of its graduate intake next year will be female as part of its new social equity strategy.

Schoolgirls visit Multiplex's Chelsea Barracks site
Schoolgirls visit Multiplex's Chelsea Barracks site

With the tagline ‘leave no one behind’, Multiplex’s social equity strategy sets the target of having 30% of its executive leadership team female or from an ethnically diverse background by 2030.

With an immediate target for 50% of graduate recruits to be female next year, Multiplex says that by 2025 at least 10% of projects to be led by a female team member.

Other 2025 targets in the wide-ranging strategy include zero exposure to diesel emissions from plant on 100% of projects and 33% of all spending to go on SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises).

UK managing director Callum Tuckett said: “As one of the largest industries in the world, construction has considerable scope to lead the way and implement the changes necessary to contribute towards reducing inequality and building more inclusive societies.

“We believe there is an urgent need to recalibrate, to ensure a coordinated and well-planned response, with social equity integrated into our decarbonisation roadmap and at the very heart of our approach to ESG (environmental, social and governance).

“Our strategy lays out very clearly the actions we are going to take as a business but also, and more importantly, how we will be trying to influence our supply chain, our clients and wider industry stakeholders to maximise our collective impacts and ensure that no one is left behind.”

In the foreword to the strategy document (which can be downloaded here) Callum Tuckett writes: “The last 18 months have proven that the planet and its ecosystems are inherently linked to the balance of our own social systems. The link between the damage we are doing to our planet and the effect that has on people and their communities has never been clearer. In support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Multiplex is committed to enacting the changes we need to see in the construction industry – putting human dignity at the heart of our transition to net zero.

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“We are actively re-thinking the way we work: from how we mitigate labour exploitation on our sites and engage our workers with green skill opportunities; to how we source raw materials in our steel and concrete supply chains. Ensuring that every part of our operations and extended supply chains help people and the planet thrive is our ultimate goal.

“Construction provides employment for 7% of the world’s workforce, where the potential to make a positive impact is immense. The causes of social inequity and injustice are deeply rooted within the systems that shape our society, including the built environment. The way in which buildings are designed, constructed, and maintained has a tremendous influence on equity and justice. Vulnerabilities prevail throughout the sector: from wage theft to unsafe workplaces and accommodation; lack of diversity at all levels; excessive hours and pressures on mental health. The status quo needs a seismic shift — and at Multiplex, it is already underway. Our social equity strategy sets out the actions we will undertake between now and 2030 in order to improve the working and built environment we create. This will involve advancing our business practices and influencing our peers, clients, and subcontractors to ensure that our projects actively advance social equity.

Callum Tuckett
Callum Tuckett

“The built environment will undergo a massive, unprecedented transformation over the next decade as our industry works to scale up action to address the climate crisis and respond effectively to advancing human rights in the workplace.

“This is why we believe there is an urgent need to take stock, to pause and ensure a coordinated and well-planned response where social equity is at the heart of our decarbonisation roadmap, in order to redirect our efforts to create a more resilient, healthy and sustainable built environment.

“Meaningful and lasting social change can only happen when we work in harmony with our supply chain. That is why a cornerstone of our social equity strategy is our engagement with our subcontractors and supply chain on our projects: to empower communities; enhance healthy outcomes; promote labour rights; pay a living wage; tackle poverty; provide job opportunities and improve overall diversity across the board. We are focused on levelling up and promoting cultural and behavioural change beyond our own business. At Multiplex, we are dedicated to both internal and external change. It is not enough to turn inwards and rectify our own issues. As a company, Multiplex vow to promote the cultural and behavioural alterations we are making in our own business in order to kickstart change throughout the wider industry.

“This is a critical moment for the built environment and Multiplex must play its role. We will educate, engage and empower – making sure that we maximise our potential for positive socioenvironmental impact as a company. Taking this action now is of fundamental importance, not just to our business and our people, but to our planet and the generations yet to come."

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