Amey – Spotlight on Forming an Inclusive Culture

Amey is an infrastructure services and engineering company that helps the economy to grow by designing, maintaining, and transforming the nation’s strategic assets.

As partners of the Government, both national and local, we manage assets and complex projects that are vital to the sustainable growth of the country. We understand that the key to success is the decision making provided by the diversity of our people, and we are proud to display 38% diversity across our 14,000 employees.   


Operating in the infrastructure and engineering sector, we found that diversity in the traditional talent pool has been constrained by the historical image of the sector being perceived as a man’s world. This reputation has made it unattractive to women and other groups, including: 

  • People with disabilities; 
  • Parents with young families; and
  • Those with minority sexual orientations.

Navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic, we focused on all our people by empowering them, engaging them, and keeping them safe. We recognised the impact the pandemic could have on everyone’s mental health and wellbeing, so we developed strategies to meet different needs in each business unit, area, and age group. We concentrated our approach on individuals in the office and on the frontline to make it successful. 

Innovative actions

Our Embracing Difference initiative, launched in 2020, recruited representatives to join an inclusion ambassador network. This network built a direct link with our frontline.

We also developed bespoke workshops on becoming aware of inclusion, understanding privilege, building allyship and bias awareness, and supporting national awareness campaigns to encourage diversity in our teams.

We provided a modern workplace, embedding flexible working and the use of enhanced technologies. This enabled us to become even more inclusive.

Representatives from our operations, safety, and human resources groups formed a crisis management team to navigate the rapidly changing terms of government guidance. This allowed us to implement new policies quickly so we could adopt ways of working that would keep our people safe.

We reviewed shift patterns (including start and finish times) for frontline staff. We also looked at adjusted working days and safety arrangements to meet the needs of individual teams.

We provided every employee with a Nanotech face mask. These masks were made by a social enterprise that actively engaged with homeless people to pack the masks as part of their route into employment. This initiative was adopted before masks were mandated, and it was part of our strategy to help people feel safe.

We enhanced our free employee assistance programme by extending this out to employee families.

We lifted all employees out of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) only sick pay schemes and adjusted pay to full pay for all COVID-19 illnesses.

We partnered with the Mates in Mind charity to carry out an assessment of our approach to managing mental health at work (against the mental health at work standards) and to develop manager training.

We introduced Wellbeing Wednesdays to focus on a different topic each month, sharing content and resources to help raise awareness and to normalise wellbeing conversations. We also expanded our network of wellbeing ambassadors and Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) to champion wellbeing messages.

We hosted a series of online wellbeing events that included hints and tips from internal and external experts. As part of this series, our consulting managing director shared his own personal wellbeing journey. Then our senior leadership team invited each person to a coffee time session that provided the opportunity to explore any further support that might be needed. 

Evidence of impact

Amey onboarded 74 degree apprentices during the COVID-19 pandemic, successfully integrating them into our teams virtually. We encouraged team bonding through our wellbeing and learning festivals.

Within Amey, virtual work experience extended across the UK to reach diverse participants between 14 to 18 years old. Within this group, 72% of the students had a medium-high student need and 78% had a medium-high school need.

One student said, “The experience was excellent…I thought this experience was going to be so boring as it was online, but you did the impossible and made the experience so interactive and taught us so much that will hopefully help us in the future”.

In conjunction with the initiative, pulse surveys indicated an emotional wellbeing index of:

  • 68% for home workers;
  • 67% for hybrid workers;
  • 62% for office workers; and 
  • 53% for frontline workers.

In May 2021, another survey indicated that 95% of Amey employees felt confident in their skills and knowledge, 92% felt supported to stop work if they felt unsafe, and 88% felt trusted. During this period, the Wellbeing Hub received up to 791 visits per week.

The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a catalyst for Amey’s inclusion agenda. It helped us adopt new ways of working and forced a traditional organisation and industry to look at things differently. We are making the uncomfortable comfortable through exploring lived experiences, provoking differences in thinking, and creating a culture that is conducive for all to succeed. Many of our people have thrived while working from home with less travel and the right support, and we have seen an increase in productivity. Furthermore, our employee engagement scores remain steady.

The information contained within this resource was accurate at the time of its publication and subsequent revision. This article was created in 2020 and revised in April 2022.

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