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.
Canute Simpson, CBP & chair of the CITB's Royal Holloway report, via email.