Broadening diversity and inclusiveness in infrastructure sector to meet key challenges

February 21, 2022

MEDIA RELEASE

Infrastructure New Zealand (INZ) is broadening its diversity and inclusiveness initiatives with the establishment of a diversity advisory board to help address key challenges facing the sector.

INZ is currently seeking expressions of interest for the 6-12-member board, representative of INZ member organisations and the people working in the sector, INZ board chair Margaret Devlin says.

“Diversity initiatives within the sector are not new. INZ established the Women in Infrastructure (WIN) network in 2016 which now has more than 2100 members in seven chapters around the country and connections to chapters overseas. WIN has helped increase the number of women in leadership roles and is a strong networking and support group around New Zealand and beyond.

“We’ve also established The Infrastructure Collective (TIC) to support younger people from a range of professions working in the industry to make connections, grow their knowledge of the sector, develop professionally and further their careers,” Margaret Devlin says.

Infrastructure New Zealand chief executive Claire Edmondson says increased diversity and inclusiveness will be a key factor in addressing current and future challenges facing the sector.

“The infrastructure sector faces some big challenges – attendees at our Building Nations conference last November identified the top three as New Zealand’s infrastructure deficit and how it will be funded and financed, climate change and the role of infrastructure to mitigate impacts and attracting talent and retaining skills. Sorting those issues will benefit both ours and other sectors.

“Diversity of thought and people was also a key conference topic. There’s a strong body of research that shows diverse people and diverse thought are key to meeting those sorts of challenges.”

The board will be chaired by Downer New Business and Commercial General Manager Amy Barrett.

“The new board will guide stronger and broader diversity initiatives. It aims to guide and hold to account  the INZ Board and members to create and sustain a diverse, inclusive and welcoming sector for all, reflecting the diversity of member organisations and individuals in the sector,” she says.

“It will report directly to the INZ Board on its own work programme, while also providing guidance and support to the Women’s Infrastructure Network (WIN) and The Infrastructure Collective (TIC) to help amplify their impact,” Amy Barrett says.

 

Media contact
Phil Barclay on 021 227 5250.

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