Name - Sam Bagshaw

Role - HR Manager

Team - Operations, North & Scotland

Based - Head office (hybrid)


Like a lot of people you talk to that work in the corporate functions teams within our business, I had never really considered Tarmac or the construction industry as somewhere I would go to work. My background is in retail, having undertaken a graduate scheme in Toys R Us and then spending time at large supermarkets like Sainsburys and Asda. However, I came to the conclusion that retail wasn’t a profession I wanted to pursue long-term. After moving more into the HR world and gaining my HR qualification whilst still working full - time, I essentially put in a ‘blind’ application to a HR role position which ended up being with Tarmac.

I joined Tarmac as an HR business partner in our building products business unit in 2015, and I’m a HR manager for a different area now. Over the eight years I’ve been here, the spotlight on inclusion and diversity has shone brighter and brighter every year. I definitely noticed a lack of diversity when I first joined, but the conversations and actions to address that since then have progressed massively. A great example of this was getting the opportunity to attend Pride Month in Birmingham as a Tarmac representative on the HS2 float – I wouldn’t have predicted that eight years ago!

My position as co-chair of the Ability community came about in November 2021, after joining a call hosted by our learning and development team on neurodiversity in the workplace. One of the actions off the back of the call was to set up the Ability community. The community is there to serve as a safe space for colleagues with physical disabilities, neurodiverse conditions or even just allies, to discuss, learn, share experiences and normalise conversations around disability. We really drive a culture of positivity and people feeling free to talk and express themselves.

Looking forward, we want to grow our audience of over 100 community members, as well as looking at ways to spread the positivity and “can do” attitude of the group into the wider business Our monthly ‘coffee mornings’, where we bring guest speakers in or talk internally around set topics like masking, diagnosis later in life, non-visible disabilities etc, have been hugely popular.

Beyond the community itself, we’ve got a lot of willing hiring and line managers in the business who are very open-minded and keen to welcome and support colleagues with different types of disabilities. The key focus here is normalising and educating our colleagues on all elements of bringing someone with a disability into our business. It's not just providing a fair and accessible interview or onboarding process; we’re focusing on retention of our existing teams too. I strongly believe that everyone has skills that they can offer and we all want to find out more about people’s “super strengths” and what they can bring to the Tarmac team.