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United Kingdom / Support services / Equality, diversity and inclusion manager

Richard Chapman-Harris

Richard with his puppy Daisy outside in the grounds of his first home.


There is a positive culture at Mott MacDonald with a strong splash of traditional family and business values. The work Mott MacDonald do is widely and highly regarded and people do feel pride in the business.

Why did you decide to join Mott MacDonald?

I wanted to build on my equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) experience with a focus on the management and construction sectors. A colleague of mine had Mott MacDonald as a client and often spoke highly of the business. I enjoyed working with the business as a contractor and was eager to join on a full time basis to continue supporting the business on EDI.

What is the best thing about your role?

There are so many aspects to my job I really enjoy. I can perhaps summarise in three words: people, progress and autonomy. I have enjoyed working with all staff in Mott MacDonald with everyone across the business showing a shared commitment to progressing the organisation and being open to new ideas. I have travelled throughout the UK and been in touch with colleagues across the globe who all share a positive outlook which is refreshing. To me this ambition supports a feeling of progress I get from my role. Supporting the business in becoming more diverse and inclusive is good for the bottom line and also for people’s experience of working here and I have seen huge movements already. Having top down and bottom up enthusiasm makes progress more efficient and impactful. For me personally, having a line manager who supports me working in an agile and dynamic way means I can perform at my best. Not only does this make me work smarter and produce more and better work, it also gives me a feeling of autonomy and respect. A value held by both Mott MacDonald and myself.

How would you describe the culture of Mott MacDonald?

There is a positive culture at Mott MacDonald with a strong splash of traditional family and business values. The work Mott MacDonald do is widely and highly regarded and people do feel pride in the business.

How do you feel you career has progressed while working at Mott MacDonald?

I have built on my consulting experience to manage EDI on the frontline with increased levels of accountability that I am relishing. I have used my personal ambition to work independently and produce strategies and action plan which the business has responded positively to. Working closely with the advance employee network has also put me in touch with senior stakeholders across the very diversified business. Providing coaching within the business is another example where a recent qualification and skillset of mine has been realised and utilised.

What makes Mott MacDonald stand out from other companies?

Mott MacDonald is a hugely diverse business working across large scale transportation projects to providing consultancy to help in some of the worlds most disadvantaged communities. There are the show pieces of work which people can see – airports to railways and also the grassroots initiatives supporting education and healthcare developments. It is the good work and the ambition to create a world we love that helps Mott MacDonald stand out for me. This is reinforced by employee ownership where I can feel that my work is like working for the family business, and even for myself.

What is your favourite past time?

My personal passions often link to my day job where I volunteer to help overcome discrimination. I have chaired annual cocktail party events and walked across Brighton to end homophobia in schools. More recently I have provided advice to a lottery funded project on risk and resilience for drug and alcohol abuse in the LGBT community with wellbeing charity PACE. I enjoy volunteering with my partner also and we are looking forward to our next charity walk with our new puppy, Daisy.

Where is your favourite place?

I love to travel and have been fortunate to visit many countries and have lived overseas for several years, having been born in Barbados. As an island paradise I will have Barbados high on my list and I also love historic cities. My partner and I recently visited Budapest and Prague where I love finding hidden pieces of history amongst the bustle of a vibrant city.

What inspires you about your work?

Personally I feel my work is fundamental to humanity – appreciating everyone in and outside of the workplace will make for happier and more productive societies. Of course we can’t all be the CEO but everyone should have the chance to aspire to be whatever they want to without a feeling that it’s not for them or they wouldn’t be welcomed. To me it is people who inspire me, colleagues and the campaigns we work with; overcoming adversity to drive a more inclusive workplace for everyone takes commitment and emotional intelligence in order to influence and change cultures and mindsets. To have a vision for how to improve the business helps motivate me, especially when we can see changes happening and providing for better experiences for others. 

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