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How Octavius embraces equity

March 8, 2023

The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is ’embracing equity’. Choosing to focus on equity rather than equality is significant. It’s particularly relevant to a company like ours that operates in a sector that has traditionally been male-dominated.

This tradition gives us both the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity to make a significant difference.

Let’s come back to that word ‘equity’. It goes straight to the heart of what an effective EDI policy looks like.

If you settle for equality as your goal then you essentially aim to give everyone the same resources and support. You don’t discriminate either negatively or positively.

In reality not everyone’s circumstances are the same. People face different barriers to participation and progress. You have to recognise and address these barriers before you can achieve real equality.

Our inclusion policy recognises that, ‘Sometimes it will be necessary to treat some people differently in order for them to experience equal treatment.’ This is embracing equity in practice.

Active intervention

Actively addressing gender imbalance is a long-standing priority for our business, and included within our Learn, Grow and Thrive key pillar. Not only is this fair, it’s also essential if we want to be successful.

Our future lies in being creative and innovative in the way we approach project challenges. Unintentionally excluding half of the population from our talent pool wouldn’t be a smart thing to do. And once recruited it’s equally important to give each individual the support they need to make the most of their talent and achieve their potential.

Our business is to maintain and improve rail and highways networks. Everyone relies on this vital infrastructure. Being fully inclusive can only help in the search for better, less disruptive solutions.

How are we doing?

Some statistics:

  • We exceed industry averages of women employees
  • The number of female graduates compared to males reached 45% in 2022*
  • We have 16% female in executive roles and 22% in senior leadership roles

And we are working to increase these figures further in our recruitment and EDI plans.

Everyone has a part to play. We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. Or as the International Women’s Day 2023 theme puts it: Don’t just say it. Think it. Be it. Do it. Value it. Truly embrace it.

To find out more about Octavius as an employer, take a look at our new careers portal, where you can also see our latest opportunities.

*We had 5 female and 11 male graduates in 2022 which is 31% female and 69% males respectively – compared to 16% female in 2020 and 14% female in 2021.

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