Construction industry body looks to boost ‘fairness, inclusion and respect’

A new forum has been launched to improve the employment of women, minorities and the disabled within the construction industry.

The Construction Industry Leadership Forum for Fairness, Inclusion and Respect working group, has been established on the recommendation of the Employment and Human Rights Commission following two studies on diversity in construction and has been charged with changing practice in the industry.

It will be chaired by Judy Lowe, deputy chairman of CITB-ConstructionSkills, and will include UK Contractors Group, the Construction Industry Council, the Chartered Institute of Building, the National Federation of Builders, Constructing Excellence, Constructing Equality, SMEs and SummitSkills.

The working group said its immediate priorities were to improve the industry’s retention of skilled female and ethnic minority employees, and to make sure clear and consistent information on good practice was available to everyone in the industry.

Lowe said the forum presented “a fantastic opportunity” to build on what’s best the industry had to offer, and to drive improvement elsewhere.

“This forum can act as a central hub to drive change across the industry,” she said.

“As the first woman to be appointed as a non-executive director of a construction company more than 15 years ago, I know that construction is a fantastic industry to be part of, no matter what your background is.

“On a personal level therefore, I am passionate about challenging the status quo especially when industry has so much to gain through wider inclusion and representation.

“Nowadays, construction is for everybody and with an aging white male workforce, diversity is no longer a luxury or a ‘nice to have’, it’s just sound business sense.”