Connect Plus Services Celebrates International Women's Day 2022

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

This year’s International Women’s Day celebrates the powerful theme of ‘Break the Bias’. This message is one that encourages reflection and awareness on the impact of bias on women’s equality.

Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead.

To mark the day, many of our team are joining the campaign and pledging to #breakthebias, whilst we’re also encouraging open team conversations and running sessions to learn the significance of the day.

Some of our inspirational women at CPS have additionally spent time discussing their experiences and advice.

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Moreen Achan, IT Project Manager at CPS, describes how she has always had a passion for technology and project management. However, her progression into her career has been impacted by bias, she said ‘I have always worked in a male dominated industry and had to work extra hard, almost having to prove myself to people that I can do my job. I have also been turned down for jobs in the past because I have children.’

Moreen advises anybody feeling any bias in the workplace to ‘work hard, the sky is your limit and not your gender, always speak up.’

Ozlem Tilkidagi, CPS Roadspace systems and Process Lead, explains that stereotypes within the industry provide difficulty. Ozlem said ‘The main challenge in the construction industry is the stereotype that it is not a job for women. Though this is more prevalent on site, it does also happen in offices.’

Women are powerful and there is no job that should be considered as just for one gender. Equality is achievable but only once the gender norms and stereotypes have faded away from society. The world is evolving, and women are becoming more powerful by the day.’

Elleanor Harris, Sustainability Manager, described the awareness day as crucial. She said ‘International Women’s Day is a really important day. It recognises how far we have come as women and is also a reminder to make sure we are empowering each other.’

‘I recently attended a training course called INSPIRE which was all about women’s development not only in the workplace but also in everyday life. It taught me so much about believing in myself which is what International Women’s day is all about!’

Speaking about bias in the workplace, Elleanor said ‘no one should feel like they can’t say anything and there should be support on hand.’

Amy Griffiths, CPS Quality and Performance Auditor, identifies International Women’s Day as ‘a day to celebrate women’s achievements and raise awareness of women’s equality.’

Discussing overcoming stereotypes in the industry Amy said ‘It is assumed that women wouldn’t work in this industry. It needs to be accepted, socially, that no job is dependent on gender.

Leila Nikraz, CPS Roadspace Optimisation Manager also shared her support for the day and talks of bias faced by women in the industry. She said ‘Bias in the industry has made me stronger in wanting to break the stereotype. I would tell anyone to not ignore it and use it, instead, to better yourself.’

‘To break bias in the industry, I think that the expectation that women are actually any different to begin with should be the priority focus. We are all equal, and our work for both men and women speaks for itself.’

CPS is committed to equality and breaking any bias in the industry. Through work with our ED&I team, we continue to raise awareness, continue the conversation and host events to encourage discussion at every opportunity.


Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
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