The number of people in the construction sector marching in this year’s Pride in London as part of the BuildingEquality group has doubled in the last two years, but the group says there is still a need for the sector to be more open about homophobia and the value of diversity.
The event saw more than 350 people representing #BuildingEquality, more than double that of 2015.
The LGBT+ construction working group known as #BuildingEquality, which has members including Arup, Balfour Beatty and Lendlease, said although there has been progress, more needs to be done.
pride building equality
Chair Gary Coetzee said: “Our industry has made progress, but still too many people feel unable to be themselves in the workplace. We need leaders to accept that homophobia remains a problem for employees and to speak out against it. Being here at Pride in London gives us an important opportunity to talk about what we have achieved but, most importantly, what is still needed.”
Last October, a New Civil Engineer poll exposed the continued hostility towards gay engineers.
Half of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people working in construction surveyed in a joint investigation with sister titles Architects’ Journal and Construction News said they had heard homophobic or transphobic slurs being used as insults in the workplace in the past 12 months, with 23% personally experiencing offensive or inappropriate comments or banter about their own gender or sexual identity.
Arup Connect Out chair Zach Wilcox added: “A diverse and inclusive workforce in the construction and engineering industry is important to create buildings and plan places for people from all walks of life who use them. #BuildingEquality is working to make sure that LGBT+ people can share their unique perspectives at work as well, so we are designing buildings and creating cities that reflect our diversity.”