Balfour aong those to set up stall at careers fair for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees

Six of the biggest construction firms in the UK will be attending a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)careers fair next month after no industry firms made it into a list of the best 100 employers for tackling homophobia.

Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourke, Lend Lease, Skanska, Arup and Arcadis will be in attendance and set up stalls at the fair, held at the University of Westminster’s Marylebone campus on 6 February between 12-5pm.

The fair is being organised by National Student Pride, whose founder Tom Guy recently started his own architect practice Guy Piper Architects.

No firms from the construction industry feature on a list published today of the UK’s 100 leading companies for LGBT equality compiled by charity Stonewall. The list included seven housing associations, but no developers, contractors, housebuidlers or built environment consultants.

It comes after a 2015 survey showed that on average 63% of workers in the construction industry have heard homophobic comments, which increased to 85% for those who work as contractors, with survey respondents describing homophobia as “rife” within the industry.

Christina Riley, a transgender senior planner at Balfour Beatty and co-chair of Balfour’s LGBT Network, said: “Having six of the biggest firms attending the National Student Pride Careers Fair says a lot about the positive change in the industry.

“There is a significant skills gap growing across the industry in all vocations and the industry is waking up to the fact that we are missing out on a whole pool of talent in the LGBT community as well as from other minority groups.”