CITB’s “Be Fair” Accreditation Framework is a new industry-specific equality standard – the first of its kind – providing a structure for employers to address fairness, inclusion and respect (FIR) within their organisation.
Piloted in 2013 at 100 firms across the UK, the accreditation is being awarded to achieving companies who realise the business and commercial benefit of fully understanding, embracing and harnessing the diversity of the workforce, their customers and the culturally diverse environment in which they work.
GRAHAM this week became the first major construction firm in Scotland to receive the Be Fair Bronze level award after successfully participating in the programme.
Among the firm’s achievements were engaging staff and subcontractors, assembling a team of champions, developing a manual for the management, and standardising processes across the business in Scotland.
Head of Resources Michael Smyth said: “GRAHAM has long been at the forefront of equality and diversity practice within the construction industry and we firmly believe that promoting equality in the workplace will be both beneficial to our staff and pivotal for our continued success.
“We are therefore tremendously proud to be the first large contractor in Scotland to achieve the Bronze level of the Be Fair framework, which has allowed us to benchmark our own activity to promote diversity against a national standard.
“To date GRAHAM has assembled a Be Fair team of champions, who promote the equality agenda on every site and has developed a Be Fair site manual which can be adapted by managers to suit local needs. A system for internal auditing has also been developed which drives performance through healthy competition between our network of sites.
“We have been impressed by the positive reaction across all levels of staff and by our subcontractors to the framework and intend rolling the framework out across our project network during 2014.
“Even those managers sceptical of change have bought in to the benefits of equality and diversity and are volunteering to implement the framework on their sites ahead of schedule.
“Encouraged by our success our next goal is to attain the Silver level as early as 2015 to cement our status as one of industry’s best practitioners of equality and diversity.”
Taking the lead
Within Be Fair, CITB has pledged to lead the sector in equality, diversity and inclusion to improve working practices by:
- Ensuring employers are legally compliant and support their employees
- Encouraging employers to actively take part and realise the benefits of a diverse workforce
- Providing and ensuring training and resources are available and accessible to all
- Changing the culture of the industry to change the perceptions and drive up recruitment, retention and progression of people from all backgrounds.
Companies interested in finding out more about Be Fair can:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: 0300 456 5008
- Go to www.citb.co.uk/befair
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