Construction Industry Shows Support at Liverpool Pride 2014

PrintRepresentatives of several major construction industry organisations will be showing their support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community by attending this year’s Liverpool Pride celebrations.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) will be among the organisations attending the event, along with AECOM and ISG who are both involved in the current £40 million Liverpool Exhibition Centre project on the waterfront. Leading UK construction firm Morgan Sindall, and the cutting edge Space Architects will also be in attendance.

Liverpool-based company Constructing Equality Ltd – the UK’s leading experts on Equality & Diversity in the construction industry – was behind coordinating the efforts of all these organisations to be present, ensuring that construction will have a strong presence on the day.

Chrissi McCarthy, Managing Director of Constructing Equality Ltd, said: “There was a really great response when we started to get the companies together for Liverpool Pride. It seemed like they all wanted to get involved, and represent the industry at events like this, and had resources set aside to make a splash on the day. Hopefully this will demonstrate to the LGBT community that construction has started to move on from the old fashioned image often portrayed”

The construction industry is keen to shed its out-dated image as having a stereotypical, macho, ‘jobs-for-the-boys’, culture and to demonstrate that equality and diversity are very much the current way forward in their business practices. To add weight to this drive, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has recently launched their Be Fair Framework, designed to provide guidance and accreditation for companies within the industry who wish to demonstrate their commitment to this agenda. Constructing Equality Ltd is the first company licensed as providers for assessing companies on this framework.

Kate Lloyd, CITB’s Fairness, Inclusion and Respect Manager, commented: “Be Fair was put together to highlight the importance of Fairness, Inclusion and Respect in construction. Its aim is to provide a straightforward route for organisations to take to address some of the issues that the industry, its employees and customers are currently facing.

“As an industry, we need to show that we embrace diversity – by attending events like Liverpool Pride, more people will get to see the range of careers available and hopefully consider coming to work in our exciting sector.”

Sam French, Strategic Inclusion and Community Manager, says: “Morgan Sindall is a UK construction, infrastructure and design business with a network of local offices and we’re passionate about supporting the communities around the UK in which we work. That’s why we’re proud to be present at Liverpool Pride. What’s more, we’re also really keen to promote construction as a career of choice, so I’d like to encourage anyone who is interested in finding out more about the industry to talk to us.”

Those wishing to visit the construction industry representatives can find them in the family area at the Pier Head after 12pm where there will be construction based games and activities for the family to enjoy.

Pride in Construction – why the LGBT agenda matters to all of us.

PrintHere at Constructing Equality Ltd we are getting rather excited as next week we are hosting a tent in the community area at Liverpool Pride, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans) celebration.

We have been overwhelmed with the support shown already by the industry with Morgan Sindall coming along and bringing the Ivor Goodsite Mascot, hazard game and prizes. CITB also have 5 representatives coming with the giant tetrahedron, giant jigsaw and infamous BAM game. ISG, Space Architects and AECOM are all fielding representatives too.

We are aiming to show that while it’s true that the sector is lagging behind when it comes to challenging inappropriate behaviour towards the LGBT community, the important thing is that it is making efforts to move forward to become a more inclusive sector that understands the challenges presented to the LGBT community.

Because, like it or not, the challenges are there. What’s more, they could be adversely affecting your business.

It goes a little something like this – people are most productive when they are happy; positive relationships with people significantly affect how happy we are in the workplace.  We build relationships by talking about home, family, sports, interests, etc. – if someone is gay and they perceive the workplace to be unwelcoming of that information they are likely to hide detail and either create a second life, or simply not discuss things at all. This in turn can make an individual unhappy in the workplace and consequently less productive.

People often make the mistake of thinking the LGBT community is about what happens in the bedroom, but as with the rest of us, that’s only part of any relationship; and often not the most important part.

Our sexual orientation can impact: – on what we did at the weekend (if we went out with our partner, or went out looking for one); the places we visit (if they are gay-friendly); the hobbies we enjoy (if these can be prejudged against stereotypes).

How much of the time you spend with your significant other is spent in a sexy way? How much more involves trust, love, caring – not to mention the more mundane shopping, finance or DIY?

I like to think people are mostly lovely, if a bit confused at times. A lot of the time I don’t think most of us mean to hurt when we use gay slurs – they have become common place and almost ingrained in language.

BUT we must appreciate that the LGBT community is discriminated against – I personally know more than two members of the LGBT community who have been physically assaulted for their sexual orientation; not because they flaunted it (not that that is remotely justifiable in anyway whatsoever), but simply because someone else did not accept it.

So I ask two things of you: –

  1. Watch the language that you use, even if your intention is not to offend – because if someone feels that their environment might not be welcoming to their circumstances, they are likely to closet themselves
  2. Support the gay community where you can – it doesn’t have to be anything big, just calling someone out if they make a derogatory remark will be huge. But, if you happen to be in Liverpool next Saturday (2nd August) come on down to Pier Head, find our tent and help us show the gay community that construction is ready for a change.