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Diversity probably isn’t the first word that comes to mind when thinking about the construction industry. Let’s face it – we have a long way to go!

What’s clear to see, however, is the long-awaited shift within construction toward a greater understanding of the benefits that Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) play in the workplace and wider industry.

Today, the construction sector continues to be predominately white male-dominated with a noticeable lack of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals, those with a disability or those within the LGBTQ+ community.

But this is beginning to change. As society is becoming more self-aware and inclusive, the staggering lack of diversity within the industry is finally being challenged.

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Diversity & Inclusion: A Distinction That Matters

Diversity and Inclusion. Whilst both go hand in hand and are equally vital to the betterment of your business, workplaces and wider society – they are different from one another.

Diversity

Diversity in your business is all about understanding and recognising difference. It goes further than recruiting. A truly diverse business houses a range of different perspectives when it comes to important decision-making with a wider workforce that represents the diverse community it serves.

Inclusion

An inclusive workplace is an environment in which people’s differences are valued, where everyone’s contribution is respected and is structured to allow everyone to thrive, without needing to conform. Fair policies and practices should be in place, meaning background, identity or circumstance has no reflection on your ability to succeed.

 

How Construction Diversity & Inclusion Can Benefit Your Business

Diversity and Inclusion together are more than just the sum of its parts. Deloitte’s research identifies that diversity + inclusion = better business outcomes.

The research goes on to show that cognitive diversity in business can help innovation by up to 20%. This means a direct impact on your team’s problem solving, and better decision making leading to a more agile business.

In fact, the research into inclusive organisations has conclusively shown that the business impacts are only positive. Juliet Bourke’s Which Two Heads Are Better Than One showed that businesses with truly diverse and inclusive cultures are:

  • 2x More Likely To Meet Or Exceed Financial Targets
  • 3x As Likely To Be High-Performing Businesses
  • 6x More Likely To Be Innovative & Agile In Business
  • 8x More Likely To Achieve Successful Business Outcomes

Alarmingly, 54% of employees don’t feel respected by their bosses and leaders. A shocking figure in itself, but even more so when you compare that to the 48% of employees that believe respect is the most important factor when trying to foster an inclusive culture. The clear gap here between what employees desire and what they are experiencing is something leaders within the built environment should evaluate.

Some studies have even shown a more concrete reflection of the positive impact a diverse environment can have on profits. A recent study by McKinsey & Company outlined a strong relationship between gender diversity and performance. They found an increase of 3.5% in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for every 10 per cent increase in gender diversity in the senior executive teams they researched.

 

A Long Road Ahead For Construction Diversity

The figures are undeniable. Diversity and inclusivity are essential for the construction industry to continue to innovate and develop in the modern world.

Whilst it’s true that steps are being made towards a more inclusive built environment, there is still a long way to go.

75% of employees still think that more diversity is needed within the workplace, a figure which is no doubt compounded within the construction industry.

When you consider that women only make up 15% of the UK construction sector, with approximately 2% working on-site within the built environment, the need for change is evident. In fact, the construction industry today shows that:

  • 15% Of The Workforce Are Women (2% On Construction Sites)
  • Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic Groups Make Up 6% Of The Workforce
  • Those With Disabilities Make Up Only 6%
  • 60% of LGBTQ+ Employees Have Experienced Homophobia Or Discrimination At Work

An accurate number of LGBTQ+ persons is impossible to determine, as Stonewall found that in 2018 at least a third of LGBTQ+ employees have disguised or withheld their identity/sexual orientation for fear of discrimination.

 

Construction Diversity: A Challenge For Your Business

Leaders and business owners within the construction industry have the responsibility to change the way in which their industry is perceived.

With the ample benefits of diversity and inclusivity within the workplace clear to see, the only real question is why is it taking so long for the built environment to catch up with the rest of the working world?

Diverse management and leadership teams could boost revenues by nearly 20%, whilst a more diverse workforce could see huge increases in productivity, job satisfaction and retention rates.

So how are you making your business a more inclusive and diverse environment?

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About Insynth

At Insynth we deliver a predictable flow of leads, customers, and specifications for building product brands through our inbound marketing approach, proven to reach a technically demanding audience.

We use the latest marketing techniques such as construction inbound marketing, to equip building product companies to grow sustainability in this era of digital transformation.

As the only HubSpot certified agency to major in construction marketing. We have a proven formula of bringing a variety of functionalities together including CRM ImplementationWeb DesignSales AutomationSEO, and Email Marketing to achieve your ultimate aim: Growing your business and gaining new specifiers and customers.

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Jake Derry

Written by Jake Derry

Jake is a Digital Content Marketer at Insynth Marketing Ltd. After graduating and achieving a Degree in Spanish & Translation, he has turned his Writing and Communication expertise to the Marketing world with the hopes of skyrocketing our clients’ success.