In 2017, the Royal Academy of Engineering discovered that while 90% of heterosexual engineers felt that they could be open about their sexuality in the workplace, only 48% of gay engineers felt the same way.
Ensuring that members of the LGBTQIA+ community can be their authentic selves at work can increase workplace morale and performance. It could even help to make the construction industry a more attractive career choice for prospective tradespeople with protected characteristics who are often subject to discrimination in the workplace.
Here are just five organisations working to make the construction industry a friendlier place for members of the LGBTQIA+ community…
Building Equality is an organisation comprised of construction consultants, contractors, developers, engineers, and over sixty construction institutions working together to drive LGBTQIA+ awareness and inclusion in the construction industry.
(Photo source: Building Equality)
On their website, you can browse through and download a variety of resources about inclusion in the construction industry, from webinars on neurodivergence to toolbox talks on how to be an ally to your LGBTQIA+ colleagues.
“Our vision is to have a construction industry that is wholly welcoming, inclusive and supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender + other related communities.”
– Building Equality
Find out more about Building Equality here.
In July 2017, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) published a report, in collaboration with Loughborough University, which explored LGBTQIA+ workers’ experiences in the construction sector.
(Photo source: CIOB)
The report emphasised a focus on diversity, different working contexts, experiences and career development. The main aim of the report was to amplify the voices of LGBTQIA+ tradespeople and to provide a forum for the construction industry to come together and promote positive change.
The report concludes by outlining recommendations that could feed into a strategy to improve LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the sector, including:
- Training for colleagues, particularly managers and leaders
- Development of a sector-wide code of practice
- And actively promoting diversity and equality in the industry throughout the supply chain
Access the full CIOB report here.
Build Out Alliance
Build Out Alliance is a US-based organisation that promotes and advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community in the construction industry. They do this by leading by example in their own work environments and through forging relationships and partnerships with community organisations.
(Photo Source: Build Out Alliance)
“Our vision is a building design and construction industry that universally values inclusion, where LGBTQ professionals work openly with pride, and where everyone has access to equal opportunities and a diverse professional network.”
Build Out Alliance was founded upon six key initiatives which help drive everything they do. The six initiatives are visibility, mentoring, networking, leadership, outreach, and impact.
Find out more about Build Out Alliance here.
Reckoning Trade Project
Did you know that 46% of LGBTQIA+ workers remain closeted in the workplace? The Reckoning Trade project is dedicated to widening employment opportunities and bettering the working lives of LGBTQIA+ workers, women, and communities of colour in the construction industry.
They do this by providing resources and training and organising meetups and networking events. Find their resources here, which include a shareable graphic set that you can use to support marginalized tradespeople and their communities.
(Photo source: Reckoning Trade Project)
“By centring the recruitment, retention, and holistic success of nontraditional workers across the skilled trades industries, we are co-creating an emergent culture of equitable and inclusive work environments that are safe for everyone.”
Find out more about the Reckoning Trade Project here.
InterEntineering organises events, resources, and publications to connect, inform and empower LGBTQIA+ engineers and their supporters to foster greater inclusion in engineering.
Their past events include the InterEgineering Summit at Millenium Point in October 2021 and a Re-Engineering Pride week in 2020. On July 2nd, they will be marching with Air Products for Pride 2022 in London to show their support and celebration for the LGBTQIA+ community.
(Photo source: InterEngineering)
Find out more about InterEngineering here.
Do you have an initiative at work that you think we should know about? Get in touch.