Unique challenges, unique solutions: Harnessing the power of diversity of t...

Unique challenges, unique solutions: Harnessing the power of diversity of t...

Unique challenges, unique solutions: Harnessing the power of diversity of t...

Heald, the Hornsea-based designer, manufacturer and installer of perimeter security equipment such as bollards and road blockers that protect from vehicle attacks and accidental impact, has taken a significant step towards promoting diversity, retaining talent, and driving innovation as the latest signatory to Made in Group’s inclusion pledge.

Alongside protecting locations in the UK, such as Trafalgar Square and Wembley Stadium, approximately 60% of Heald’s products are exported globally, with the company developing hostile vehicle mitigation solution installations for high-profile locations such as the World Trade Centre in New York and Surfer’s Paradise on Queensland’s Goldcoast in Eastern Australia. Heald’s business is built around the creation and installation of bespoke solutions, and so the unique challenges they face require unique solutions.

An equal opportunity to flourish

Heald originally joined Made in Yorkshire to become part of a thriving regional manufacturing community and gain valuable connections and partnerships, collaborating to compete. Now, taking the pledge to learn and implement best practices in equality and diversity has become an added bonus of membership, allowing the company to actively take strides to ensure its workforce reflects society's diversity.

As increasing numbers of Made in Group members sign up to the inclusion pledge, the collective effort is starting to have a powerful positive ripple effect on the engineering industry as a whole, fostering a culture of diversity, inclusion, and innovation across the wider sector. Diversity and inclusion have become critical factors in the success of modern businesses, driving innovation and ensuring forward-thinking companies stay ahead.

Debbie Heald MBE Heald’s owner and managing director is wholeheartedly embracing the commitment that the pledge represents: “Our goal extends beyond compliance with legal requirements; we aspire to surpass them, striving to create a workplace where everyone, irrespective of their background or identity, has an equal opportunity to flourish.”

Harnessing diversity of thought to stay ahead in an increasingly uncertain world

When it comes to staying ahead in the face of ever more complex global security challenges in an increasingly uncertain world, having a team that harnesses the power of diversity of thought is a great asset for the business. The combined knowledge and skills of their workforce allows them to tackle complex challenges from numerous different angles, ultimately leading to more effective solutions for their clients.

Attracting a more diverse workforce

Flexible working patterns play a crucial role in attracting a more diverse workforce by removing obstacles to progression and accommodating the unique needs and circumstances of individuals. Debbie is committed to supporting flexibility whenever possible: “We understand the importance of work-life balance, and where feasible, we accommodate flexible working hours.”

There is also a vibrant company culture and the staff are actively involved in fundraising for charities such as Breast Cancer Now, the British Heart Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation. Colleagues are also recognised for their loyal service to the company, with key members of the team recently having celebrated their ten and twenty-year service milestones.

Out in the community, the company has also committed to investing significantly in the National Apprenticeship Scheme, maintaining strong partnerships with local schools and colleges. Debbie is passionate about providing work experience opportunities for younger students, offering them a glimpse into the working world at Heald and developing a pool of the next generation of talent.

Recognition for export and the promotion of STEM careers for women

Debbie has been recognised for her support and time contributed to the local community. So much so, that in 2022, she received the ‘Over 100 Hours Award’ for her volunteering contribution as part of a national STEM Ambassador Programme. And this isn’t the first time she has been awarded for her efforts within the STEM community. As you might expect of a female business owner and managing director, Debbie is an active proponent of gender equity and in 2017, having been awarded an MBE for her services to women and export in STEM.

Expansion into Germany

In line with its commitment to diversity and inclusion, Heald Ltd has recently expanded its operations by establishing a German subsidiary, Heald GmbH. This strategic move allows the company to extend its reach and offer its innovative security solutions to the German market. The introduction of Heald Ltd's Matador product in Germany further strengthens the company's position as a leader in perimeter security systems.

Debbie shares: “We’ve recently announced that Heald has enhanced its German presence with the set-up of Heald GmbH. In 2021, we set our roots in Germany, introducing our award-winning Matador product, a patent-protected sliding bollard solution, to safeguard Christmas Markets in Mainz.”

Heald Ltd's expansion into Germany not only presents new business opportunities but also provides an expanded platform to attract and retain new international talent. By establishing a presence in international markets, the company can tap into a broader talent pool and benefit from the diverse perspectives and experiences that individuals from different cultural backgrounds bring.

As growth continues at Heald, so too do the opportunities to attract individuals with diverse cultural backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, enriching the organisation's diversity and fostering a global mindset.

Our employer toolkit includes a range of high-quality 'Made' employer branding logos and assets. In addition, members gain access to valuable resources through the Made Platform, enabling them to post job vacancies on the Made Futures job board. The platform also offers a job vacancy template for creating customised social ads. By utilising these tools, you can effectively communicate your organisation's dedication to diversity and inclusion, both internally and externally.