Competitive advantage through diversity
A Tarmac case study

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Page 2: What is diversity and inclusion?

The idea of equal opportunities is concerned with eliminating discrimination. The purpose is to ensure workers have equality of access to recruitment, training and promotion opportunities in the workplace. This increases the pool of potential employees for firms. Recruitment decisions are therefore based on getting 'the right person for the job'.

Tarmac has a rigorous policy for equal opportunities. No current or potential employee should experience any discrimination arising from:

  • background
  • gender
  • ethnic origin
  • age
  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • political belief
  • disability.

new-image-3Tarmac has taken this a stage further. It is now building a culture and vision that is known by the term 'Diversity and Inclusionĵ. In this context, diversity means all the complex ways in which people are different. This includes visible differences such as gender or ethnic origin. The term also captures less obvious differences between people: religious or political beliefs, sexual orientation or education and social background. When a person comes to work, they bring with them their own thinking and learning style, personality type, experience, ambitions – even their own sense of humour. A diverse workforce better reflects Tarmacĵs target market. It can be more adaptable to changes in the market because of the range of skills and experiences to draw from. A greater cultural understanding can also lead to the provision of a better level of service.

Inclusion strategy

To embrace all these differences, Tarmac is pursuing a strategy of inclusion. This means creating a working culture that values the differences between people. It does not try to stifle or devalue the individuality of staff. Such a culture is tolerant but also practical in recognising these differences and enabling every member of a team to exploit their personal strengths.

The heavy building materials industry has developed a stereotype of older, male employees. This is not inclusive. To achieve change, effective training and the active example of leadership right up to CEO level are essential. Senior managers aim to provide Diversity and Inclusion support, guidance and resources for employees.

Tarmac | Competitive advantage through diversity