On Saturday, Building Equality, an alliance of construction companies working to build LGBT+ inclusion, came together to create the biggest show of equality, diversity and inclusion the North West construction sector has ever seen at Manchester Pride.
In its second year at Manchester Pride, Building Equality doubled in size since 2017; with even more senior leadership visibility than ever before and a more than 100 representatives from 18 different organisations taking part.
On Friday at Exchange Square Manchester, hundreds of members of the public enjoyed a photo opportunity with the rainbow JCB and the opportunity to find out more about the work Building Equality is doing in the construction sector to make it more diverse and inclusive sector as well as to discuss careers and opportunities.
Then in Saturday’s Weekend showcase celebration, Building Equality was joined by sponsors; Flannery, A-Plant and Hays to march together alongside the rainbow JCB to help increase awareness of LGBT+ employees working in the construction industry.
Building Equality comprises representatives from; construction consultants, engineers, developers and contractors who are passionate about working together and harnessing their collective power to drive LGBT+ inclusion in the construction industry.
Building Equality is giving LGBT+ employees a voice and a platform to promote the positive contribution they make to the industry, whilst demonstrating the importance of promoting diversity and inclusion, in order to retain and attract the best talent to a sector short on skilled workers, whatever their background. Building Equality offers greater diversity within the industry through its involvement in many built-environment initiatives aimed at promoting fairness, inclusion and respect at grassroots, including attendance at a record number of pride events; Manchester, London, Newcastle, Leeds and Student Pride.
In addition to our great work as a collective, many member companies have created their own internal LGBT+ networks. This approach is fostering an environment of inclusion throughout the industry and over the next 12 months Building Equality will continue to drive change, not just through main contractors but also through their supply chains. This aims to bring about a truly inclusive industry where all regardless of age, race, religion, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, ability or sexuality can be their true selves at work so that both individuals, and the industry, can flourish.
Luke Ives, Chair of Manchester Building Equality and Co-Chair of the Balfour Beatty LGBT+ & Allies Network, said: “What a wonderful weekend. We’re immensely proud to be able to highlight the ongoing work Building Equality’s work does in paving the way for an open and inclusive industry, which promotes discussion on equality, diversity and inclusion – opening channels for issues and opportunities to be acted upon. Allowing all in the construction industry to be their true selves benefits everyone – not only to attract and retain the best talent but by providing access to a wide range of perspectives, encouraging creativity and improving performance.”
Mark Baybutt, Co-Chair of Manchester Building Equality and Social Secretary for WSP’s LGBT+ employee network: “Over the last few years, we have expanded the reach of Building Equality from its genesis in London, to other major UK cities such as; Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds. Pride matters because discrimination still exists in various forms across the globe; be it in the form of hate crimes, workplace discrimination or the death penalty. Pride gives us an opportunity to celebrate our diversity and to show the world that the construction industry, promotes diversity and inclusion so that you can be authentic and the best version of yourself.”
John Doyle, Co-Chair of Manchester Building Equality and RICS North-West Regional Board Member: “Everyone has the right to come to work and be their very best selves. No one should ever have to hide who they are, or accept discrimination. Building Equality provides a platform to show future generations that line the streets of the parade route, that you can be whatever you want to be, and not just be proud, but be fully supported and respected within the construction industry here in Manchester.”