Two hundred construction industry professionals took part in the capital’s Pride parade for the first time on Saturday under the banner #BuildingEquality.
Employees from Arcadis, Arup, Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Laing O’Rourke, Lendlease, Mott Macdonald, Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners, Skanska and WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff marched through London to celebrate the annual lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) festival.
This year the group was led by a Laing O’Rourke digger, the first to ever appear in a Pride parade and each of the firms involved wore different coloured t-shirts resulting in a rainbow to symbolise an LGBT-inclusive construction industry.
The #BuildingEquality group said that over the last year there had been a visible increase in LGBT awareness and inclusion in the engineering and construction sector. It said that industry-wide networks, Off Site and InterEngineering, had grown steadily and a large number of companies had signed up as Stonewall diversity champions.
The industry also took part for the first time at Student Pride in February 2016, which it said was the largest LGBT careers fair in the UK.
“Having an LGBT-inclusive workplace is not only the right thing to do but it also enables us to deliver the best we can for our people and our clients,” said WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff UK HR director and LGBT+ network Vibe senior sponsor Paul Newing. “A visibly LGBT-inclusive industry helps to attract a more diverse pool of talent to choose a career in engineering and the built environment.”
Arup senior engineer Ben Anstis said: “It’s overwhelming to see how firms from across the engineering and construction spectrum have embraced LGBT inclusion. With such a great turn out for Pride in London this support can only continue to grow and help change the perceptions of our industry for the better.”
To learn more about the #BuildingEquality walking group, contact Arup’s Connect Out group – the firm’s LGBT network – at firstname.lastname@example.org.