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Is our industry homophobic? Take our survey and help us find out

Built environment companies do less to promote sexual diversity and tackle homophobia than banking and the armed forces, a leading gay rights campaign group has revealed.

Stonewall says lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) employees’ productivity could be at risk as it singled out the construction industry for failing to keep pace in the drive to support sexual diversity.

The criticism comes after built environment companies once again failed to feature in its annual Workplace Equality Index of 100 leading firms.

Top 10-ranked companies included heavyweight consultancy Accenture, closely followed by the Home Office and computing giant IBM.

The league table started in 2005 and is based on a ranking of companies’ efforts to improve sexual orientation equality.

In addition, only four built environment companies are participating in Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme, representing just 0.6% of the 627 participating organisations.

NCE has teamed up with sister titles The Architects Journal and Construction News to conduct an anonymous survey that explores attitudes to sexuality across the whole construction sector.

The survey is targeted at the whole construction industry, and employees of both genders and all sexualities.

Findings will be promoted and reported by NCE, AJ and CN.

To take the survey got to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/attitudesinconstruction. Your answers will be treated in strictest confidence.

Further evidence of inequality in engineering

Nearly half of gay and lesbian engineers hide their sexuality from their work colleagues, according to a June 2014 survey for the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

The survey showed that 41.8% say they are not open at work about their sexuality, compared to just over 45% who say they are.

Reasons for keeping their sexuality secret included the fear of backlash from colleagues: “I have tried hinting to colleagues about my orientation, but this has only resulted in me becoming a laughing stock,” said one respondent.

Others felt that senior management would not approve of their sexuality: “You do sometimes hear homophobic remarks by senior managers. This does not send a reassuring message.”

However, some felt that being open about who they are was not relevant to their job role and they did not want to make others feel uncomfortable.

A total of 356 engineers took part in the IET LGBT diversity survey. They were asked to answer a series of questions relating to their openness about their sexuality in the workplace, whether they felt their sexuality was a barrier to career development, discrimination they’d experienced in the workplace and the sector and region in which they worked. Read more at http://www.nce.co.uk/news/equality/gay-engineers-fear-coming-out-at-work/8666002.article

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