[WEBINAR REPLAY] Improving Company Performance through Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

This webinar took place on 25th Feb 2021 14:00
Duration: 1hr 45mins

Improving Company Performance through Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is the AGS’ second webinar discussing this subject.

The aim for all members and companies should be to eliminate discrimination, create equal opportunities and develop good working relationships between different people. This webinar discussES the industry challenges and introduce potential solutions.

The AGS is working with the Ground Forum and FPS to support individuals and start to create the inclusive culture needed within the everyday business operations of its members. As more and more research demonstrates the business benefits of diverse and inclusive organisations, it is obvious that we all need to be doing better. This webinar focuses on how our industry can start to address inequalities and promote diversity and inclusion.

EDI is often spoken about at strategic, policy and procedural level but how can these be developed to raise awareness and influence positive actions within the geotechnical and geoenvironmental sector? The webinar speakers discuss the barriers as well as positive approaches and initiatives to EDI, such as flexible working, which will help change attitudes, attract new talent and improve retention within the industry moving forward.

This webinar is hosted by AGS Chair Elect, Sally Hudson (Regional Manager at Coffey Geotechnics Limited, A Tetra Tech Company) and AGS Chair, Julian Lovell (Managing Director at Equipe Group). Speakers include Emma Stewart MBE, (co-founder of Timewise), Sharon Slinger, (Director at Constructing Rainbows Ltd.), Steve Hadley (FPS Chair and Managing Director of Central Piling) and Martin Griffin (Principal Geotechnical Engineer at COWI).



Tackling The Skills Shortage Together

Presented by Sharon Slinger, Director, Constructing Rainbows

This session will be an introduction to diversity and inclusion, the business case and what action we can all take.


Barriers and Experiences within the Industry

Presented by Steve Hadley, FPS Chair & Managing Director at Central Piling

Steve will present anecdotes to highlight poor existing practices, and positive examples of inclusion that are reshaping our industry


Making Flexible Working Work

Presented by Emma Stewart MBE, co-founder Timewise

Timewise will share insights on how adapting working practices to embrace flexible working can help organisations to attract and retain a more diverse workforce, tackle skills shortages and build more inclusive cultures. The session will include practical insights from Timewise’s pilots within the construction sector focused on how to enhance work-life balance and wellbeing for site based teams.


Taking the Dis out of Disability

Presented by Martin Griffin, Principal Geotechnical Engineer 

It’s widely acknowledged that the UK is heading towards an intensifying skills shortage in the engineering sector.  Each person with a disability is unique and has a unique manifestation of their condition(s).  Research undertaken by Engineering UK found that an additional 1.8 million engineers and technically qualified people will be needed by 2025.  These people cannot all be white males.  Employers need to throw open their doors to as many people as possible to fill these spaces, and a part of that lies in being fully inclusive.  Be it the Social Model or the Medical Model of Disability, it is the wider social attitudes that need to change.  It is a case of not being ignorant and fearful of disability but having time for disabled people.  The aim of this presentation is to introduce the audience to disability and provide an overview of neurodiversity and its untapped commercial potential to the ground engineering sector coming out COVID-19.


Sharon Slinger FRICS CIWFM
Director at Constructing Rainbows Limited

Sharon works with built environment organisations to improve their business through implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies.

Sharon has 20 years’ experience working in the construction and facilities management industries for main contractors. Her other roles include co-founding STEER Support & Mentoring CIC, founding LGBT+ in Facilities Management and being a member of the Construction Industry Council Diversity and Inclusion panel, and Yorkshire & Humber regional board.

Sharon has also featured in the OUTstanding/FT Top 50 Future Leaders list and won several awards for her work in diversity and inclusion.

Steve Hadley
FPS Chair & Managing Director at Central Piling

Steve started his career in ground engineering in 1999. After becoming a Chartered Engineer, Steve acquired Central Piling and has been Managing Director of the company since in 2006. He is a passionate advocate for wellbeing, equality and environmental sustainability, and has prioritised the development of knowledge in these areas during his tenure as FPS Chair.

Emma Stewart MBE
Co-founder and Development Director of Timewise

Emma’s role sees her working with businesses, thought leaders, policy makers and social reformers to test and scale innovative solutions which deliver successful, sustainable, two-way flexibility.

She has contributed to numerous government taskforces, reports and initiatives, focusing on how to encourage more people who need to work flexibly into the workplace, shape the labour markets of the future and raise family living standards.

Emma has won numerous awards including ones for social enterprise and innovation from the Observer, Nesta and the Institute of Directors, amongst others.

Martin Griffin
Principal Geotechnical Engineer at COWI

Martin Griffin is a UK based Principal Geotechnical Engineer with over 20 years experience. He is neurodivergent, autistic and visually impaired who is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace especially within the ground engineering sector. He is presently the COWI London EDI Office Champion with emphasis on diversity and inclusivity in construction and engineering.

Martin is a Chartered Geologist, Chartered Engineer, European Geologist and a Fellow of The Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining; currently he is serving on British Geotechnical Association national committee, the Ground Forum committee, Geological Society Scrutineer for chartership candidates, STEM Ambassador to local secondary schools and a Ground Forum / STEER mentor for underrepresented groups.

Sally Hudson
AGS Chair Elect and Regional Manager & Associate at Coffey Geotechnics Limited, A Tetra Tech Company

Sally has 30 years’ experience in the ground engineering industry and has responsibility for the delivery and management of geotechnical risk on a wide range of projects.

She has worked in the site investigation field for specialist contractors and for design consultancies on many major transport and energy infrastructure schemes, on earthworks design schemes and asset management in the road, rail and energy sectors.

Sally has more recently concentrated on business development and technical management of geotechnical operations within Coffey in the UK and has been the AGS Business Practice Working Group Leader since 2019.