We want to be a truly inclusive employer and that means continuing to improve for the benefit of everyone who is part of the Atkins family. Our diversity and inclusion (D&I) challenge for the next five years will see us build on the great work we've done so far by pursuing improvements for all under-represented groups and promoting a more inclusive culture for all employees.
Staff networks fulfil various functions within Atkins, including providing opportunities for social interaction, peer support and personal development, as well as contributing to the development of policies and working practices. We don't dictate which networks should exist, but rather fully support any self-generated group that wishes to help promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Here are some of our existing staff networks:
Women's Professional Networks
The Women's Professional Networks (WPNs) provides a friendly and informal forum to encourage a gender-balanced and inclusive workplace. WPN meetings are held across Atkins' offices and can encompass a wide range of formats - for example presentations from internal and external speakers on key issues around diversity and inclusion, world café events or book reviews. The WPNs provides a great space for sharing tips and guidance about working in Atkins, networking with staff from across different businesses and clients, and raising awareness about diversity and inclusion initiatives.
This is a place for Atkins employees to discuss LGBT+ issues. All Atkins employees with an interest are welcome to join, regardless of whether they identify themselves as a member of the LGBT community or otherwise.
The Atkins BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnicities) Network has been set up to better understand the challenges affecting BAME employees. The forum discusses ideas and solutions around concerns of race and provides an open and supportive environment for individuals. The network wants to influence change toward more inclusion, help the business better appreciate the diverse ethnic contexts in which it operates, and support the business in achieving our D&I objectives.
ParentNet was set up in recognition that working parents can face challenges and work-life balance conflicts. Not just women who have recently returned to work, but both men and women who have children of all ages. The aim of the forum is a support network, as it can feel quite isolating when you’re facing a challenge that perhaps non-parents, or sometimes even other working parents within your team, don’t understand. It’s good to know that others are in the same boat and get suggestions from people who really understand the work environment and practicalities of solutions.
Disability Network Group
The Disability Network has been set up as a friendly open forum to allow employees and carers to share ideas, information and news. Although the forum is called the Disability Network, the forum recognises that how our members perceive disability is a very individual thing and we don’t use labels. Contributors add items ranging from sickness and benefits to disability issues.
In March, Atkins was named the winner of SEMTA’s Diversity in Engineering award for 2017.
The annual honour recognises a company that has made a measurable difference to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and to create an environment where employees can thrive.
"When it comes to diversity, we're on a long journey, and as an industry we still have a lot to accomplish. This award recognises how far we've come and the impact that our commitment has already had on our ability to recruit, develop and retain the very best people in our industry. We want to build on this progress, stretch our ambitions even further and make our organisation truly inclusive for all."
Sharron Pamplin, HR director, UK & Europe