19th November 2019

Paul Hamer: Championing inclusion at Sir Robert McAlpine

Paul Hamer, CEO, has been a staunch advocate of inclusion. Here we take a closer look at what drives his ambition to inspire change.

On International Men’s Day, we profile several men at Sir Robert McAlpine who champion our values and help us to be the best builder and best place to work. Paul Hamer, CEO, has been a staunch advocate of inclusion. His efforts have earned him a nomination for Chief Executive of the Year at the Inclusive Companies Awards, which take place later on this month in Manchester. It was only fitting that we take a closer look at what drives his ambition to inspire change.

This year, as the business celebrated 150 years, Paul Hamer launched a five-year strategy for Sir Robert McAlpine to become the “best builder” and the “best place to work” in the UK. Paul wants to make the construction industry an attractive career option for everyone:

“Under my direction, we are focussed on developing a landscape which spans from inspiring young school children to develop a passion for building and creating, through to exploring how we can help rehabilitate others in society who may have taken a wrong turn, such as young offenders.”

Paul’s commitment to nurturing talent is deeply rooted in his own experience and pride in his apprentice background:

“I attended a state comprehensive school, which I left at 16 as I had a desire to become a draughtsman apprentice. I worked and studied hard and attended University later in life to attain an Msc in Engineering Project Management from UMIST. Throughout this time, I was helped, supported and coached by tremendous people who wanted to see me succeed and I am now in a very honoured and privileged position where I too can support and inspire. As CEO of a £1.5bn construction business, I am a living example of what one can achieve if helped, supported, developed and nurtured.”

Everyone agrees the gender gap in construction must be addressed and changed rapidly. Paul has taken some measures to improve this too:

“I am committed to shattering glass ceilings in the boardroom. I have, within my two-year tenure, personally appointed several talented females within Sir Robert McAlpine to the Senior Leadership Team, two of which now also sit on the Executive Board. This includes Sir Robert McAlpine’s first ever female Director of Engineering in 150 years.

"All have made huge contributions to the company, and I hope that they provide ideal role models for both women in the company, and those considering working in the sector.

"It’s not enough to improve diversity & inclusion at Sir Robert McAlpine, I want to drive change across the industry. By acting first as a role model, and secondly by thoroughly scrutinising the attitudes to diversity & inclusion of prospective clients and collaborators, I want Sir Robert McAlpine to become a figurehead for positive change.”

Paul has also instigated the creation of seven affinity networks, covering disability, working families, age, gender, LGBT+, BAME, and social mobility, enabling employees to assess and address the specific needs of their respective group and shape the inclusion policy for the business.

Paul’s last word to promote an inclusive culture?

“Everyone is welcome at Sir Robert McAlpine.”

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