23rd May 2019

Knowledge Type

Good Practice Document MPA Report


, Major Projects Association

Major Project


Of Interest To

Consultants Contractors Operators Private sector clients Public sector clients

Embracing Diversity – Managing people who don’t look like you


The SAS: Who Dares Wins military selection reality TV show has just allowed women to take part. But by Episode 3 the male recruiter has already accepted withdrawal from half of the women. He listens to their tearful stories with sympathy but very little empathy. In contrast, the struggling men are told they are doing a good job. Several times the recruiter reflects how the male recruits are ‘just like me at his age’.
This is an example of appointing in your own image. We do it because it is easier to understand those who are just like us. Whilst most people in positions of power are white men this pattern of appointing is perpetuated. In order to achieve real diversity in major projects we must face this reality and learn how to overcome it.
This seminar aimed to unpick some of the barriers to achieving diversity and to learn from those who are leading diverse teams.