Diversity and Inclusion | Wates

Diversity and Inclusion

Our commitment to inclusion

Our commitment to inclusion

As a family-owned business we know our people are at the core of our continuing success. It’s our people who make Wates successful. We will only achieve our strategic objectives if we retain and recruit the best people, and provide them with an environment characterised by inclusivity, diversity and opportunity.

Wates has identified key objectives and milestones in its new Diversity and Inclusion plan, to create a business where everyone is welcomed, included and connected.

Our ambition for 2025

“The entire built environment sector needs to change to become more representative of wider society. At Wates we want to lead that change.  The plan we have issued today sets out our approach, our goals and our targets which will help us to be a business where everyone is welcomed, included and connected. ”


David Allen, Chief Executive  

Diversity and inclusion infographic

Our goals:

  • Drive industry to be more inclusive by playing a leading role in peer and stakeholder collaboration
  • Have a workforce that more accurately reflects society (we will be 60% men, 40% women, 20% BAME, 3% disability and 5% LGBTQ+ across all levels in our business)
  • Positively encourage flexible working through appropriate working arrangements and benefits
  • Ensure fairness in all our people systems, processes and reward mechanisms
  • Be a place where everyone loves to work

We will achieve this by concentrating on 4 key objectives:

  • Encourage bold leadership – our leaders at all levels are committed to embracing and implementing our #WatesTogether inclusion strategy
  • Increase awareness through education – we provide the right tools and training to support inclusive mindsets and forums to foster debate
  • Involve everyone – we empower everyone to create inclusive working environments and encourage them to engage in activities and partnerships internally and externally
  • Embed inclusion into all we do – we will attract and develop a diverse workforce with an inclusive mindset and ensure all of our processes and procedures support this

Nikunj Upadhyay - Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion“For me, an inclusive workplace is where we feel our individuality is cherished and we can be confident to bring our whole self to work.”

Nikunj Upadhyay – Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion

Will Bayley - World number one Paralympic table tennis champion and Rio Gold medallist – sponsored by Wates.“It’s great to see companies like Wates embracing diversity and inclusion and broadening opportunities for everyone.”

Will Bayley MBE, world number one Paralympic table tennis champion and Rio Gold medallist – sponsored by Wates.

Young Women's Trust“Talent exists everywhere, but opportunities sadly too often still do not.

That’s why we welcome the Wates Group’s commitment to dramatically improve the gender balance of its workforce at all levels, including through overhauling its parental leave and flexible working policies and addressing the gender pay gap .

We look forward to working together to increase opportunities for young women within the Group and the industry as a whole.”

Joe Levenson – Director of Communications and Campaigns at Young Women’s Trust

Build UK“We can do so much more to create inclusive work environments which get the best out of everyone.  It is great to see Wates, a Build UK Member, setting out a clear plan of action to recruit, train and retain people with the ambition and skills we need to deliver projects both now, and in the future, and I look forward to sharing their success.”

Suzannah Nichol MBE – Chief Executive, Build UK

Our memberships

Wates belongs to the employers network for equality and inclusion

Wates is a platinum member of Women in Construction

Wates is a gold accredited for Committed 2 Equality

Recruitment and retention of women in construction

Read our response to Inquiry by All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment

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Advice and insight from women working at Wates.

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