WSP, the engineering and professional services consultancy, has been accredited with the National Equality Standard (NES), a Government-backed UK standard for equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), it announced today.

NES Award 2020 small 

WSP UK’s EDI practices and policies were assessed by EY against the 35 competencies in the NES framework and passed with high marks. The firm attained one of the highest scores by a construction and engineering firm assessed by EY to date and is in the top five per cent of all organisations that been assessed under the NES.

WSP’s NES journey began in July 2019 with the technical interviews undertaken in September. Nearly 100 in-depth conversations were held with staff in the UK as part of the assessment, with key strengths observed in ‘Learning & Development’, ‘Flexible Working’ and ‘External Relationships & CSR’.

Mark Naysmith, CEO of WSP UK and South Africa, said: “Being accredited with the National Equality Standard is a fantastic achievement that recognises our highly inclusive culture and ongoing commitment to creating greater diversity in WSP and our industry. This is both important for staff wellbeing and making sure our business remains at the forefront of innovation, with a strong focus on our people.”

Abi Frost, UK EDI Manager at WSP in the UK, adds: “Through the accreditation process we have learned how important and how well embedded flexible / agile working is across our teams, and how our focus on gender balance is making a difference to our colleagues. It has also proven that having strong and demonstrable leadership is key to driving change.

“We are committed to making sure everyone is empowered to bring their whole selves to work and achieve their career aspirations in the office and on site.”

Arun Batra OBE, CEO / Founder of the National Equality Standard and Partner at EY, said: “We are delighted to be awarding WSP with a National Equality Standard. EY has supported more than 200 clients, from all kinds of sectors, with their Equality, Diversity & Inclusion programmes. The commitment shown by WSP across a number of areas, and in particular to increase female participation in the engineering sector, was marked.”

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, WSP announced recently it had become a patron of The 5% Club, a movement of employers focused on creating momentum behind the recruitment of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates into the workforce.

In joining, WSP is committing to further support STEM initiatives and joins other members and patrons in supporting economic growth, encouraging diversity and inclusion, increasing social mobility and alleviating poverty across the country.



Dan Williams, UK PR Manager: [email protected] / 07341 681 673                


WSP is one of the world's leading engineering professional services consulting firms. We are dedicated to our local communities and propelled by international brainpower.

We are technical   experts   and   strategic   advisors   including   engineers, technicians, scientists, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals. We design lasting solutions in the Property & Buildings, Transportation   &   Infrastructure, Environment, Industry, Resources (including Mining and Oil & Gas) and Power & Energy sectors as well as project delivery and strategic consulting services.

With more than 8,200 talented people in the UK and approximately 49,500 globally, we engineer projects that will help societies grow for lifetimes to come. WSP has been involved in many high-profile UK projects including the re-development of London Bridge Station and Quarter, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, HS2, Transport for the North Strategic Development Corridor studies, One Blackfriars and the Shard.

 About the National Equality Standard

The UK National Equality Standard was developed by business for business and sets clear equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) criteria against which companies are independently assessed. The NES is now being utilised globally.

It is supported by the Home Office and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) was involved in its development and launch.

The NES has become the accepted standard for inclusiveness in business across the UK and numerous organisations across all sectors have now completed the process which has generated outstanding feedback from both the public and private sectors.

Participation in a NES assessment ensures long term sustainable change, a beneficial impact in productivity and growth and provides a detailed roadmap with recommendations to help implement those areas requiring improvement.