Solat is keen to share his insights into how essential it is for organisations and individuals in the Construction industry to truly embrace Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; and to make a conscious shift towards diversifying the workforce in sector.

The promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion is not only morally and culturally the ‘right’ thing to do, but there is an impressive business case for making improvements in this area of your organisation.

Here are our top three reasons for Construction organisations to put Equality, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives into practice:

  1. The pool of talent is increasingly diverse…
    The UK workforce is more diverse than ever, for example according to Diversity UK, Ethnic minorities make up 12% of the working-age population. For comparison, the most recent Glenigan Construction Industry Performance Report showed that the mean workforce within Construction companies was only 3% black or minority ethnic, and that the proportion of women in the Construction workforce has actually dropped, from 19% to 13%.By focussing recruitment and retention of staff on homogenous groups, employers are significantly reducing their talent pool, and missing out on a huge proportion of the skilled workforce.­
  2. …and so is the pool of consumers
    Likewise, the people making purchase decisions are also increasingly diverse. Add to this the fact that global demand in the Construction market is set to increase by 4.3% per annum; according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ report UK Construction: An Economic Analysis of the Sector, and it is clear that there is more diversity across consumers than ever.A recent survey by Marketing Week reveals that 65% of UK consumers feel that “British marketing and advertising fails to recognise the full range of
    [their] lives and experiences”, and that one in six people report that this makes them less likely to buy from a brand. This means that any organisation not promoting equality, diversity and inclusion is neglecting valuable markets, missing out on sales and ultimately losing profits.
  3. Diverse workforces are the key to innovation
    We know that diversity is a key driver of innovation. Research has shown this to be the case time and time again, including this report from McKinsey that shows that gender-diverse companies are 14% more likely to perform better than non-diverse companies, with ethnically diverse companies 35% more likely to perform better.This is common sense too: the more varied a group’s collective experiences and backgrounds are, the wider their knowledge base will inevitably become.According to Constructing Excellence, the organisation charged with driving the change agenda in Construction, “in times of rapidly changing markets, technologies and communications, construction firms have become increasingly reliant upon innovations and improvement”, in other words, innovation is absolutely essential to the Construction industry.

With all the above evidence to back it up, it seems shocking that with the level of technology and advancement the UK’s Construction industry is so far behind in an area which is equally, if not more, important.