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‘All In’ Conference will help build diversity and inclusion in the built environment

Constructing Excellence in the North East, along with event support partners, has announced the launch of the construction sector’s very first ‘All In’ Conference.

The event brings together people from across the industry, all with varied expertise and backgrounds, to understand how businesses benefit from developing inclusive working practices. It is being held at the Crowne Plaza, Newcastle on March 30.

The conference is sponsored by Faithful+Gould, RED Engineering and Cundall.

The day is split into key themes with Kathryn Gardner, Faithful+Gould, leading the welcome, followed by Kate Lloyd, Constructing Excellence in the North East, who will introduce the day.

David Burdus, Burdus Access, Meshi Taka, Waterman Aspen, David Ridley, RED Engineering, Angela Carney, Carney Consultancy, Richard Stelling, Sir Robert McAlpine and Laura Chatwin, Arup, will each give their unique perspective on working in the sector in ‘Making it Personal’.

Following a break to network, speakers including, Lee Francis, RE:GEN Group, Nicky Watson, JDDK Architects and Kieran Thompson, Cundall, will discuss how their organisations are supporting their workforce around wellbeing and inclusion activities under the topic area of ‘Making a Difference’.

The final theme of the day is a panel discussion on the benefit of people being allies, chaired by Grace Choi, Grace Choi Architecture. Panellists are business leaders and inclusion experts including Mark Thompson, Ryder Architecture, Nikunji Upadhyay, Wates Group, Nusheen Hussain, Home Group, Phil Redman, Mott MacDonald and Elouise Leonard-Cross, Northumbrian Water Group.

Catriona Lingwood, chief executive at Constructing Excellence in the North East, said: “This is our first ‘All In’ Conference and it’s all about encouraging behavioural change in our sector. We want to enable all people to thrive in their work and to ensure the industry benefits from a diverse workforce. Diversity will enable greater innovation, improvements in health and safety and better staff engagement leading to increased productivity and improved financial returns.

“We want business leaders to join us and see how they can promote inclusion within their organisations and be allies to others in our sector.”

Nusheen Hussain, executive director of business development, Home Group, said: “Home Group is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, for everyone, no one should ever experience discrimination or disadvantage. The construction industry is largely male dominated and, sadly, disparity and inequality with under-represented groups, is widespread. That’s why allyship and using your voice and privilege to help amplify the voice of those under-represented groups, is so important to help address this imbalance and make a positive impact within organisations and the sector as a whole.”

Kieran Thompson, head of talent, diversity and inclusion at Cundall, said: “Cundall is supporting the ‘All In’ conference because we know the future success of the construction industry is dependent on our collective capacity to attract and retain great people of all backgrounds and identities. This demands that we, as organisations and construction professionals, address the inequalities that have been ‘baked-in’ to our industry over decades. This means first listening to the perspectives of those in our industry who continue to be under-represented and overlooked, and then taking the actions needed to change the status quo.”

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