By Catriona Lingwood, Chief Executive of Constructing Excellence in the North East
Inclusion is about making everyone feel that they are a key part of the organisation. Ensuring people feel included within teams is especially important within the industry, where future successes depend on working well together.
The UK has a set legal framework with the following definition: “An equal society recognises the diverse needs, situations and goals of individuals. It removes discrimination and prejudice, and tackles the economic, political, legal, social and physical barriers that limit what people can do and be.” (Equalities Review 2007) Which in the workplace this means employers must, treat all employees and prospective employees fairly and considerately and protect all employees from discrimination.
Everyone has a role to play in promoting Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) in construction, in the same way that everyone is responsible for maintaining health and safety measures. We take health and safety extremely seriously, and it should be no different when it comes to FIR.
The FIR Programme is a cross-industry programme to develop a culture of Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) within workplaces. The FIR programme will help companies in the industry become more inclusive, so that every employer can:
- Attract, recruit and retain the best of all available talent
- Address the industry wide skills shortage
- Capture the business benefits of diversity, including better productivity, innovation and collaboration, safer workplaces, improved reputation, enhanced financial performance
- Position their business at the forefront of driving a genuinely collaborative sector wide initiative to improve our industry.
The FIR programme comes at the perfect time, as the results of the requirement to disclose gender pay gap information slowly start to emerge. As of March, construction was the sector with the largest gender pay gap, with data showing employers pay women, on average, 21% less than men. The information doesn’t go into detail yet about job roles and responsibility but from an outsider’s point of view, it doesn’t look good and this is what we need to address. To be anywhere near reaching the targets set by Construction 2025, we need to be encouraging the entire talent pool and not excluding potential candidates, for any reason. We need all available talent regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, values, experience etc. As a sector, we need to embrace FIR in order to attract, recruit, train and retain the skills and talent that we need to deliver our pipeline of works.
CENE are hosting a free event with DAC Beachcroft, looking at FIR why it’s important to your future business success. As well as this free Introduction to FIR Workshop, the FIR Programme includes the FIR Online Toolkit with e-learning modules and toolbox talks, resource library, case studies and trainer’s guides, and the FIR Ambassadors Network – everything you could possibly need to run a fair, inclusive and respectful business and reap the benefits.
To register for this event please contact Amy Holmes on 0191 5007880 or firstname.lastname@example.org