The 8th of March is International Women’s Day, which celebrates the achievements of women across the world and promotes equality and an end to gender bias. This year’s campaign #EachforEqual encourages everyone to consider how their own actions, thoughts and behaviours can help to create a more gender equal world.

In response, Adam Harding, Regional Director, South East discusses how he has changed the way he perceives bias and gender and how he is helping BAM to adopt a more equal approach.

As an individual and a Regional Director for BAM, I believe I have an important role to play in helping to create a more gender equal world, both at work and in my daily life. In the last 12 months, I have taken steps to change the way I and others across our business perceive bias and gender related issues and am supporting efforts to facilitate new ways of doing things that offer everyone better career opportunities.

BAM's International Women's Day campaign
Along with more than 400 BAM staff, I previously attended a daylong session on unconscious bias to help me to understand how it might impact the decisions and actions I take, and the effect these might have on those around me.  The lessons I learned from this session I am already putting into practice, by increasing my attention to alternative ideas that are sometimes very different to my own. As a direct result, I’m seeing greater freedom in creativity and more willingness to challenge ideas in a healthy way.

Having sponsored the design and launch of BAM mentoring, I’m pleased to see that a year after its launch, we now have nearly 60 active matched pairings. They are giving us great feedback about the benefits they are experiencing including learning more about the business, themselves and others and how this is supporting them in their career. I would absolutely encourage everyone to get involved as either a mentee, mentor or both

To better understand the perspectives of the diverse range of people in our business and engage them in helping to steer our approach, BAM has launched four Employee Resource Groups. A member of the Senior Management Team sponsors each group and I am pleased to be leading the one on Gender and am looking forward to working with my team to put together a plan of works for the next 12 months, to support our journey towards Gender Equality.

BAM is also doing some brilliant work with Timewise, who we are partnering with to undertake an industry wide project. This will explore how we can enable the adoption of agile working throughout the industry, particularly on site.  I think there are still some people who believe that it is mainly women who want agile ways of working but this is definitely not the case. The benefits it generates for individuals, our company and the working environment can’t be underestimated, especially in our 24/7 society.  

An equal world is an enabled world. Gender equality and diversity benefits all of us and is self reinforcing. This International Women’s Day I challenge everyone to think about how they can help forge a gender equal world …

About the author

Adam Harding

South East Regional Director - BAM Construction

Adam was appointed to the board of BAM Construction in 2015 as Regional Director for the South East, responsible for all construction operations in the region.

Adam started his career at BAM in 1994  as a Site Engineer, winning a  Site Engineer of the Year Award in 1997. He then progressed to Project Manager, overseeing projects in Oxford, Maidenhead, Watford & Milton Keynes. In 2011 he won Gold at the  Construction Manager of the Year Award for successfully delivering West Herts College Hempstead Road Campus, Watford. And a year later, he became Construction Director.

He is a member of the Chartered Institute Of Builders.

"I’m proud to be leading BAM Construction in the South East.  We are part of an exciting  industry that makes a huge difference to the quality of people’s lives and improves the communities we live in. For me it’s all about people, teams and strong relationships, whether we are delivering outstanding medical facilities  such as the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, or  improving schools , or  constructing new station facilities, I want our people to enjoy their work and our clients to enjoy working with us."

Read more articles from Adam Harding