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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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Construction sector sets up industry-wide forum to boost inclusion


The construction industry has set up an industry-wide forum to try and improve diversity and boost its employment levels among women, ethnic minorities and disabled people.

The Construction Industry Leadership Forum for Fairness, Inclusion and Respect was set up following recommendations by the Employment and Human Rights Commission, after two studies on diversity demonstrated the need to change current practices in the sector.
Judy Lowe, deputy chair of training organisation, CITB-ConstructionSkills, who will chair the Forum, said: “There is a great deal of excellent work already happening in the area, but this forum can act as a central hub to drive change across the industry.”
As the first woman to be appointed as a non-executive director at a construction company more than 15 years ago, she added that she was “passionate about challenging the status quo”, especially when the sector potentially had so much to gain from being more inclusive and representative of the wider population.
“Nowadays, construction is for everybody and, with an aging white, male workforce, diversity is no longer a luxury or a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s just sound business sense,” Lowe said.
At the Forum’s inaugural meeting, the decision was taken to focus on improving the retention of skilled female and ethnic minority staff as a top priority and to publish guidance, advice and examples of good practice as soon as possible.
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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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