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New Construction Coalition Formed To Tackle Diversity In The Industry

21st September 2023


The construction industry has launched a coalition to tackle the lack of diversity in sector in a bid to revitalise the industry as it faces a crisis as its mainly older male workforce retires.

Eleven leading organisations in the construction industry, representing over 250,000 workers have united to launch this new coalition.

The Construction Inclusion Coalition (CIC) has been established by CEOs at organisations including Aliaxis, Baxi, Bradfords, Highbourne Group, Ibstock, Knauf, Travis Perkins, Wavin, Wolseley, the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) and the National Merchant Buying Society, to raise sector standards on equity, diversity & inclusion (EDI), with an immediate focus on gender representation in its first year.

A new poll targeting at 2000 people shows nearly half of Brits (46%) say they would be more likely to actively seek out employment opportunities in the construction industry if it demonstrated a stronger commitment to diversity.

CIC chairperson and Toolstation managing director, Angela Rushforth, said: “There is no doubt that the future of our industry is at risk if we don’t create an environment where all our colleagues feel safe, empowered and confident. I want all young women to see the construction sector as I do – full of opportunity.”

The CIC acknowledges that the construction sector has one of the most rapidly ageing workforces in the UK, with research showing that close to a million construction workers – around a third of the UK’s total workforce – are set to retire in the next 10 years. Despite this, the industry is currently only made up of 15% women and 6% from ethnic minority backgrounds, and faces challenges attracting and recruiting from a diverse pool of talent.

A network will be established by the CIC to share knowledge and resources across the industry, and progress will be tracked annually and shared in a public report.

The initiative has been endorsed by the Construction Leadership Council, a body that draws together business leaders from across the construction sector and links them with the UK government.

Construction Leadership Council co-chair and CEO of Mace, Mark Reynolds, said: “The Construction Leadership Council has long been advocating for businesses and organisations in our sector to collaborate to make our industry more welcoming and inclusive. It is clear that ensuring a consistent approach to equity, diversity and inclusion will be vital for the future of construction, which is why we’re pleased to support the Construction Inclusion Coalition. There is much work to be done, however I am confident that sharing knowledge and raising standards, we can make a meaningful impact across the sector.”

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