Taking pride in what we do

I’m new, well relatively new, to the construction industry.

It’s a man’s industry right?

I mean this industry has a history of not exactly being the most inclusive sector to work in.

And I guess when I joined BAM back in 2021 I had that opinion of construction. I hoped I was wrong but was pretty sure I would be right.

The reality, however, is something far different.

Within our division of BAM, covering the UK & Ireland, and consisting of our construction, civil engineering, ground engineering, FM and Ireland businesses to name a few, there is a real desire to become a truly inclusive business. One which accepts everyone for who they are, so everyone can bring their real self to work every day.

I have met people who are proud to be who they are, who are not scared to share their sexuality or talk about their trans journey. This is not a business which celebrates men being men, it is a business which believes we should all celebrate who were are, every day, regardless.

And it is this journey towards being a truly diverse and inclusive company that makes me proud to support the LGBTQ+ community at BAM.

It doesn’t matter what part of any business you work in, being seen to be “different” is tough. It is tough every day. But as we build a better business, and a better society, we are creating groups of allies in each department, construction site and joint venture right across our operations.

Being there for each other is so important, listening, caring and being curious.

At BAM we are putting our people at the heart of everything we do, something I know every other company says too. But I genuinely believe we are doing things differently here. We have to, we have many barriers to break down and a culture to shift, but that’s ok.

Sometimes inclusion is not something that comes easy, you need to understand what it means, how you can offend, but also how you can support each other better to create a better, safer environment to work in.

At the start of this year I decided I wanted to play a closer role in supporting one of our inclusion networks – we have them for the LGBTQ+ community, ex-forces, colleagues from different ethnic backgrounds, gender groups, and for our colleagues who are less able.

I wanted to work with a group which I felt I wanted to understand more about, become a partner, an ally and supporter.

So I was delighted to be chosen as the Sponsor for our Proud@BAM network. I have to be honest I was nervous. I had questions. I didn’t fully understand things about the LGBTQ+ community, and maybe I had been afraid to ask the questions in the past.

But I was welcomed with open arms.

This is undoubtedly a network with massive significance in this day and age. And being gay, bi or trans in a construction and engineering business is maybe tough. But I want to help break down the barriers we have, so we can become that inclusive business. To ensure that any biases within the business are diminished and we have equality for everyone.

The people I have met are proud of who they are, and so they should be.

This journey towards inclusion has been going on for decades. At BAM, and across the wider construction industry, we need to ensure, as I said earlier, that everyone feels they can come to work each day, be themselves and bring their whole selves and not be afraid to share it.

Are we there yet? No, is the simple answer.

Have we started down the road of becoming that inclusive employer? Absolutely.

Have I seen a change over the last two years? Most definitely.

But it takes more than words to deliver proper change and ensure everyone feels safe to be their real selves in the workplace. And actions will always speak louder than words.

I am proud of what we are doing at BAM UK & Ireland on our inclusion journey, but I am equally proud of all our people and the inclusive culture they are creating for each other right across the division.

About the author

Ken Leitch

Ken Leitch

Communications Director


Ken is BAM UK & Ireland’s Director of Communications. 

He joined Royal BAM Group in April 2021 to lead transformation communications and moved into his current role in January 2022. 

A journalist by trade, Ken has over 28 years of experience leading communications around the world in various sectors including, energy, insurance, telecoms, and electronics, before serving as head of communications in a number of divisions of bp.