In supporting the campaign, the UK’s biggest contractor has made a commitment to become more accessible for disabled people and increase understanding and support for existing and potential employees who have a disability.
Balfour Beatty will develop a training initiative to help employees understand unconscious bias and how to overcome it to build a more inclusive culture, and it will also share the training materials with its supply chain.
Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK chief executive Nick Pollard said the contractor wanted access to skills and talent, including 1.3m disabled people who want to work.
“To achieve our full potential as a business we need to make sure we have open-minded and inclusive leadership that embraces the opportunities a diverse workforce offers.
“By challenging our unconscious bias we will also support our existing employees, some of whom are working with challenges such as dyslexia or dyspraxia.
“We want a culture that encourages people to seek the support or flexibility they need to fulfil their potential because ultimately this will benefit our business,” Mr Pollard said.
Through the Disability Confident campaign, the Department for Work and Pensions is working with employers to remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.
Minister for disabled people Mike Penning said: “I am delighted that Balfour Beatty has agreed to work with us on this. They are a huge player in the construction industry and I am convinced they will have a positive effect in shaping a sector that is inclusive for all.”
Earlier this month, Balfour Beatty joined the handful of construction firms that have signed up to gay equality charity Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, and established its first internal network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
Balfour Beatty will begin its unconscious bias training in 2014 for its 9,000 UK construction employees.