June is Pride Month! A month celebrating LGBTQ+ rights and communities ❤️
In the construction industry, homophobia is, sadly, still quite a prevalent issue.
Research has shown that two in five lesbian, gay and bisexual employees in the construction industry don’t feel comfortable being open about their sexual orientations with their immediate colleagues.There is also a lack of understanding of sexual orientation diversity, which negatively impacts trust and productivity.
Here are some suggestions to try and make construction industry workplaces more inclusive:
Get to know your business
Are there positive examples of LGBTQ+ inclusion in your workplace?
Be open to discussing LGBTQ+ inclusion
It’s important to ensure staff know they can discuss equality and diversity openly.
Create centralised resource and responsibility
Staff need to know whom they can go to with an issue, and feel secure and trusted that they will be met with open-minded understanding.
Offer support to all staff
Equality and diversity can often be misunderstood as ‘political correctness’ or can even be described as insulting to minority groups. What LGBTQ+ and other minority staff do need is a culture that is genuinely open to their difference and abilities.
Explore Quick Wins and Long Term Goals
To create effective cultural change, there needs to be an understanding of the current situation and desired long term goals, and the journey required to reach them. A small stepping stone that could make a big difference would be addressing inappropriate language in the workplace.
"Building Equality is an alliance of construction consultants, engineers, developers, contractors, and institutions who are passionate about working together and harnessing our collective power to drive LGBTQ+ inclusion in the construction, engineering and built environment industry...Our vision is to have a construction industry that is wholly welcoming, inclusive and supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender + other related communities."
Click HERE to check out Building Equality's resources page to see what you can do to help make the construction industry more inclusive!