A shared commitment
Wates and Ada, The National College for Digital Skills:
Working together with shared values on diversity
Creating a working environment where everyone can thrive is something we strive for in everything we do. At our recently completed project for Ada College, in London Victoria, we have been working with a customer who shares our passion and enthusiasm for diversity and inclusion. We caught up with our Senior Design Manager, Sandra Weerasinghe, and Ada’s Director of Operations, Sophie Clifton, to reflect on the importance of shared values when working together.
I’ve found unmatched passion and enthusiasm for our college in every member of the Wates team, and this has shone through in the work the team has done. We’re ready to grow into our new building and Wates has always understood our vision. I’ve always felt welcome and respected as a female client lead; Wates does a lot to make their industry accessible, and that’s something we can really relate to.
It’s been a long road to get to this point in our journey; we have been in what was supposed to be a temporary campus for seven years. We’ve waited longer than we hoped, but we’ve been able to build an established campus that is breaking boundaries and opening doors for more women in tech and that’s a cause that Wates has been fully behind from the start.
To manage the design and be integral to the delivery of a ground-breaking college that was set up specifically to open doors for people from all backgrounds has been really fulfilling and it’s been a pleasure to work alongside Sophie.
Inclusion in the workplace is so important, not just for career progression, but to guide and make young people aware of the opportunities for them in construction. As a woman of colour, in a traditionally homogenous, male-dominated industry, I’ve found Wates to be a very welcoming place, full of career potential, support and allies, and that’s what I want to share with young people.
I see and feel that in our project teams, senior management and leadership teams and it’s so refreshing to see a serious commitment to inclusion and tolerance from the Board all the way through the organisation. Ada’s commitment to the same cause was apparent from the start. Of course, you always want a customer that you agree with, but when that runs deeper and you share core values, that’s where great things can happen.”
Our new campus will allow us to welcome even more students and take the college to new heights, which we’re so excited for. I’m grateful to have been on this journey with Wates; they have always understood what we wanted to achieve, because they are striving for the same thing.“
As Ada defines new standards for further education, we are working to define new standards for diversity and inclusion across the industry. Working with our partners on our shared values is incredibly rewarding and something we are committed to continuing across our project portfolio.