Group has received CLC backing
Twelve major construction organisations have set up a new initiative to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in the sector.
The Construction Inclusion Coalition (CIC) has been established by the chief executive of a range of groups and will focus on improving gender representation in its first year.
It comes as new polling revealed only a third of Britons would feel confident that their female family or friends would be safe and respected if they joined the industry.
The construction sector is just 15% female, with just 6% coming from ethnic minority backgrounds. Meanwhile, nearly a third of the industry’s total workforce is set to retire in the next decade.
Nearly half (46%) of the 2,000 people polled said they would be more likely to seek out work in the industry if it demonstrated a stronger commitment to inclusion.
The CIC includes Aliaxis, Baxi, Bradfords, City Plumbing, Highbourne Group, Ibstock, Knauf, Travis Perkins, Wavin, Wolseley, the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) and the National Merchant Buying Society (NMBS).
Isabella Walsh, manufacturing management trainee at Ibstock, said: “I totally understand other women’s concerns about working in construction – I had them myself before I joined as a Trainee Manufacturing Manager.
“But my colleagues have been so welcoming, many are now good friends. Although things have changed for the better in the last few years, we need businesses in construction to come together to accelerate this change, which is why I think the Construction Inclusion Coalition is so important.”
The new organisation has been endorsed by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC).
Mark Reynolds, co-chair of the CLC and chief executive of Mace, said: “It is clear that ensuring a consistent approach to equity, diversity and inclusion will be vital for the future of construction, which is why we’re pleased to support the Construction Inclusion Coalition.
“There is much work to be done, however I am confident that sharing knowledge and raising standards, we can make a meaningful impact across the sector.”