Originally published: July 26, 2017
50% of LGBT+ employees in the construction industry say they face homophobic or transphobic abuse. The #BuildingEquality network has called on industry leaders to develop the tools and practices to transform the business culture to reflect diversity and inclusion, with support from representatives of engineering and construction consultancies Arup, Arcadis and Mott MacDonald.
Negative associations of casual homophobia and anti-transgender bigotry continue to dog the construction world, with the clichés of cat calling and discrimination against LGBT+ individuals top public perceptions of the industry in particular. In recent years increased pressure from a range of voices groups has begun to pressure management to intervene and change attitudes within the industry has seen an inclusive culture increasingly fostered.
According to research from financial services company Credit Suisse, construction firms that took this route saw improved job satisfaction and productivity, access to a wider pool of talent, and improve the reputation of the industry and specific actors within the industry. Aside from a business case though, an inclusive culture improves wider social wellbeing, and means that companies are inherently compliant with various regulations pertaining to workplace discrimination.