Workers from across the construction industry were out in force for last weekend’s Pride event in London under the #BuildingEquality banner.

Employees from 23 engineering firms joined together to march behind a rainbow painted digger to increase awareness of LGBT+ staff working in the construction industry.

The companies involved spanned the full range of the industry from developers to consultants to contractors and included Aecom, Arup, Mott MacDonald, Lendlease, Costain and Kier.

The #BuildingEquality campaign focuses on trying to drive change not just through main contractors but also through the supply chain with the aim of promoting inclusion within the industry.

Tideway is also running a photo competition for people to send in a picture “your Pride in London experience” using the hashtag #TidewayPride.

The number of companies from the engineering community taking part in the annual event have been rising said Lendlease commercial finance director and Lendlease LGBT+ Network chair Georgina Scott.

“This is the fourth year Lendlease has marched at Pride as part of #BuildingEquality which has grown to more than twenty member companies, up from only four in 2015,” said Scott.

“To create the best places, we need a culture and an environment that embraces difference, where we can benefit from the diverse thinking, experiences and backgrounds of all our people.

“We are committed to growing and sustaining a diverse and inclusive culture; where people can bring their ‘whole self’ to work and feel safe, empowered and motivated to be the best that they can be.”

A recent survey of 1,045 people in the construction industry by Construction News, found that over half (56%) of LGBT+ respondents were uncomfortable being open about their sexuality or gender. A third (28%) said they had had an offensive or inappropriate comment made about their gender or sexuality in the workplace over the past year.

The Building Equality campaign said 2018 marked a symbolic year for the LGBT+ community, as it is 30 years since Section 28 legislation was introduced banning local authorities from promoting homosexuality and 15 years since it was repealed.

In 2010 the Equality Act became law in the UK, making it illegal to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the workplace.

Aecom chief executive UK & Ireland David Barwell said: “Aecom was proud to be marching at Pride in celebration of diversity and equality across the construction industry. Understanding and celebrating the diversity we have across our teams is an integral part of what makes our business a success.”

Source: New Civil Engineering

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