Our Colleague Networks
At Novus our main aim is to make sure nobody ever goes home after a working day and feels that they have been discriminated against or treated unfairly. To ensure this happens we have recently launched our ‘Without U there is NO US’ Inclusion Strategy and introduced five board sponsored network groups. These include: Women in Novus (WiN), Proud Together, Caring Together, Disability Matters and REACH (Race Equality and Cultural Heritage). These networks make sure everyone has the right to live a full and productive life with dignity at Novus.
We are committed to creating a workplace free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A workplace that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive and a workplace where difference is valued and celebrated.
One of the ways we do this is raising the awareness of women’s achievements and challenges through our Women in Novus (WiN) network. WiN is a company-wide initiative that brings together our female colleagues and allies, from all levels of the business. The network also benefits from Board sponsorship by Non-Executive Director Sophie Seddon-Hall, to ensure representation at the highest level of the business.
Our WiN network has already had a significant impact. Our successes include:
- Ensured clothing and PPE are suitable for all genders (rather than unisex) and now have various uniform options for all colleagues including pregnant people.
- Signed up to Construction News’ Inspiring Women in Construction Pledge.
- Enhanced our Family Friendly policies which includes increased maternity and paternity pay and clarification around part time and flexible working.
- Launched a Menopause Policy and signed the Menopause Workplace pledge.
- Implemented the government’s Good Work Plan in advance of this being applied in law.
Our Disability Matters network group is working to support and better the lives of our colleagues with hidden or seen disabilities.
The group currently has seven members from across the business who meet quarterly via teams. Our Board sponsor, David Leach, attends each meeting and contributes to the group, whilst also ensuring our voice is heard at the most senior table of our business. As part of the group’s progress so far, we have successfully made changes to our health and safety policy to fall in line with the HSE’s guidance. This is ensuring we promote the message that no matter the cost or time, all extra measures will be considered to ensure every colleague feels their health, safety and wellbeing is equally cared for.
In addition to this, we are pleased to share that we now publicise our status as a disability confident employer under the government scheme on all our job adverts. This step further demonstrates our commitment to attracting and retaining colleagues with disabilities.
REACH - Race, Ethnicity, and Cultural Heritage
Our Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage (REACH) network group is working to support and better the lives of our colleagues who identify with a minority group.
The group currently has several members from across the business who meet quarterly via teams and we’re pleased that we continue to grow in attendance. Our Board sponsor, Matt Hiley, attends each meeting and contributes to the group, whilst also ensuring our voice is heard at the most senior table of our business. The purpose of this group is to bring about change to ensure all colleagues, current and future feel that they can bring their whole selves to work without prejudice or discrimination. We want to ensure that there is a safe space for colleagues to raise their concerns and that we build a population of allies who help to amplify the message, break down barriers and support our colleagues.
To ensure hiring managers are making fair decisions and selecting the most competent candidate we have delivered hiring manager training to over 70 managers which highlights that our unconscious bias can impact the way we hire.
This is ensuring we promote the message that no matter the cost or time, all extra measures will be considered to ensure every colleague feels they have been treated fair and with respect.
Proud Together (LGBTQ+), will be focusing on raising awareness of the challenges LGBTQ+ people face everyday in the workplace. Our network group started with 9 members and now has 12 colleagues from across the business. We meet quarterly via teams supported by our board sponsor Lee Hartley, who helps us to raise awareness across the business.
The purpose of our group is to raise awareness of the issues facing LGBTQ+ colleagues with the mission of ensuring anyone representing this community feels they belong at Novus.
This group is dedicated to bettering the lives of colleagues who have caring responsibilities for someone close to them. Across the UK, 6.5 million people are carers, supporting a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill.
Caring Together is working to reduce the burden often experienced by carers, which is particularly prevalent when juggling work alongside caring responsibilities.
We want to provide all colleagues – no matter where they work in the business – with equal help and support when they need it most, and work to ensure that no one is ever in a position where they can’t reach out.
Working towards this endeavour, so far Caring Together has supported the implementation of a companywide Carers Policy, outlining specific care leave and flexible working arrangements available to carers to ensure consistency in the support available.