Try something next time you go to work or visit another construction business.
Start the stopwatch and check how long it takes until you encounter a woman or a person from an ethnic minority group at a senior executive level. Judging from your recent article (6 June, page 48), the stopwatch might be running for a long time. However, if our industry were to recruit staff based on ability, we might see more women and people from ethnic groups in construction.

Different business sectors have embraced ethnicity and gender issues and have benefited from the wider skills that are available. Construction is ignoring this potential and is suffering because of ignorance. Women and black and Asian people are interested in learning about construction (see the CITB's – Royal Holloway report, The Retention and Career Progression of Black and Asian People in the Construction Industry), but the industry does not give them sufficient encouragement and incentive to pursue a career in construction. With so much emphasis on integrated teams and collaborative working, surely it makes sense to employ a diverse team to cope with the demands of an increasingly diverse industry.