UK Construction Week Releases New Diversity Guide

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Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E. info@burflex.co.uk

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UK Construction Week Releases New Diversity Guide

If you’re planning on having a stand at this year’s UK Construction Week event for the built environment (taking place between October 9th and 11th), then you should get yourself a copy of the organisers’ new equality, diversity and inclusion guide to make sure you don’t tread on any toes.

The new guide has been devised with the help of a steering committee made of representatives across the industry who come to the show, including the diversity manager at Willmott Dixon, the senior planner at Balfour Beatty, and the diversity and inclusion director at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

There’s an exhibitor code of conduct included in the new guide if you are going to be exhibiting this year – and it could certainly be worth a read. It includes information on stand designs and themes, as well as the staffing of these stands themselves. You are now being actively encouraged to think about the different mix of members of staff you put on the stand, covering gender, ethnicity and age. If they don’t represent the diversity of your company, you should be prepared to explain why this is.

There are also warnings contained within regarding your stand theme being inappropriate or non-compliant with the event’s equality, diversity and inclusion policy – and if you do run into trouble, you may not be allowed to open your stand.

“No-one can deny that the construction sector has more work to do in this area than most. The business case is clear, the moral case undeniable, so now is the time. It is for this reason UK Construction Week has made a commitment to change and to promote the benefits of diversity for the advantage of the whole construction sector.

“We have always promoted a very strong and diverse conference platform, but now we’re looking at the exhibition too. I think UK Construction Week can play a pivotal role in highlighting those who are making great strides in balancing out inequality in our industry, to demonstrate best practice and to inspire others.

“We should use this event as a celebration and an opportunity to challenge ourselves to make that commitment to achieving minimum requirements and demonstrating on-going progression,” director of UK Construction Week Nathan Garnett said.

The event ran into trouble in October last year, with publisher and events company Media 10 forced to issue an apology for using female actors in Vegas show girl costumes to present awards and pose for photos with visitors.

According to Dezeen, industry leaders and architects questioned the wisdom of this particular strategy – using women to sell products and so on in a sector that is already finding it hard to promote equality.

Mr Garnett commented on this earlier this week (February 12th), saying that they did get it wrong last year and as a result faced a storm of criticism on social media.

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