How we got to here – a history of Constructing Equality.

 

This month marks the sixth year anniversary of Constructing Equality Ltd and we thought we would provide you with a bit of history and perspective so that you can understand how we are working to make change in the sector.
 
2007 – 2009 The Learning Years                
Originally, after leaving my job as a site manager, I set up the company with the aim of helping businesses find an approach to aspects around equality that could understand the challenges they faced. What was very clear from the off was that the industry could not overcome many of the barriers it was presented with such as: – false self-employment, poor trainee record, and nepotistic culture, without working together. We knew
this because companies that had tried told us they found this work was undermined by competitors poaching staff they had trained and therefore were unable to pay more, was diluted on projects without the same underpinning and was not valued by clients – who often valued short-term initiatives for the community over longer term progress for industry; consequently this did not win tenders.  You might think that this is not important to equality, but it is, very important indeed. How can we expect the majority of the industry to co-operate in encouraging and developing individuals from minority backgrounds when they themselves feel undervalued, badly treated and threatened? We felt that in order to bring equality to the sector we needed to start with the workforce we already had.
 
2009 – 2011 – Formulating a Plan
The first two years were spent reading quite a bit – the next few were spent reading a lot; undertaking a Masters degree and transferring onto a PhD . Not only did we need to improve conditions in the sector for the individuals within it, but for the companies too and we needed to be able to back this up with research. Whilst ten years in industry gave us a good background in the sector we needed to establish a greater depth to the understanding of how policy, politics and the economy shaped the way the industry operates and then look at how we could set in motion a realistic plan to overcome those challenges together as a sector. We know from historic work, to succeed it needed to have value, but be reasonably priced, be highly complex in its understanding of the sector, people and equalities as well as easy for companies to understand and use – but most importantly have the ability to bring the industry together; trusting that if we worked together we would all benefit. Early on we understood that we could not develop this trust from a consultancy framework, nor could we do this alone. We therefore decided to approach CITB the sector skills council.
2012 – Present – Making Progress
CITB were looking to develop an equality standard of their own – so, with the timing right, we put forward the idea of something bigger – that went beyond equalities and tackled the issues faced by the sector in a way that was affordable and attainable to all organisations working within it. We won the bid and have been developing the CITB BE FaIR framework for the last year and a half with the first 6 strands (Sub-contractors and Main Contractors) being piloted this year and the second set of 8 also being tested. The BE FaIR framework has had an amazing response and whilst it is at the core of our business, it’s not all we do.
We also undertake research for CITB and other clients, Training for companies like Graham, Taylor Wimpey and Derbyshire County Council and consultation for the likes of  Vinci, CITB and CIC.
Aside from the business of making money, we commit 10% of our time to work which helps move this agenda forward in industry – not only with our more recognised resources like the website, quiz and newsletter, which contain a wealth of information and opportunities for companies to promote good practice, but also by running projects to retain students in universities, collecting data in industry (CIC), visiting schools to talk about careers in industry and talking at events.
In the future, we want to involve more of you in this work – creating a scheme where you can become supporters of Constructing Equality Ltd., which will essentially mean that you support the right of all people in industry to be treated fairly.  We in turn will look to give you training and opportunities to showcase your passion. At the end of the day, the company is guided by a love of industry and a vision of the potential of the sector.
We already do amazing things on a daily basis – just imagine how much more we could do in the right working environment.
Please get in touch to find out how you can get involved,