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CIOB’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter

CIOB's Charter aimed to help the construction industry become more diverse and inclusive.
CIOB's Diversity and Inclusion Charter written on white title card, in front of a staircase.

This charter sets out to demonstrate progressing along the path of increasing diversity in the workforce is a key business strategy. The inclusion of women, ethnic minorities, disabled and the LQBTQ+ communities is not only ethically the right thing to do, but it makes absolute business sense. We outline the statistics which demonstrates that business success and profitability is increased when there is more diversity in the workforce and on leadership boards. As Mark Harrison, CIOB Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion says: “The debate is over. The business case has been made.”

**We acknowledge that it doesn’t happen overnight, but we need to get started, our report covers five key steps that will get us on the road to inclusion:

  1. Show leadership
  2. Make a plan
  3. Shape the culture
  4. Be transparent
  5. Be accountable**

Absolute commitment from the organisation is needed to ensure those within the ranks reflect the wider population. A number of activities can help achieve this, ranging from issuing a statement of intent, investing in internal development programmes, having open communications, updating branding, seeking accreditation against indices that rank organisations against EDI goals, speaking at events to share the journey and learning points along the way.

Leadership need to assess the status of diversity within the organisation and understand clearly where they want to be and thus, targets can be set accordingly, measured and adjusted on an ongoing basis. Targets can be both quantitative and qualitative and they create a set of actions and an overall plan to affect recruitment practices and to implement ways to engage and attract under-represented groups to the organisation.

Culture can have an impact within the organisation, and importantly, on site or project itself. Leaders must set the tone, with clear communications that everyone deserves courtesy and respect. It’s the notion of stop and think that comes to bear in all scenarios – a poorly worded joke may be unintentional but from another person’s perspective, could affect their sense of belonging. The goal though is simply to create a culture which is mutually beneficial to all, and where people can advance based on their merit.

Transparency is an important element to this, but it is also a tool. It shows to the internal workforce that it’s more than just words, as everyone is called upon to carry out identified actions that tackle practices and behaviours and which in turn improve working conditions and productivity for all involved. And externally, giving access to those looking in, or at, the organisation can see what is being done, how, what has been achieved and what is still to do. Vehicles like annual reports demonstrate to members of under-represented communities, that this is a company worth working for.

But who is accountable? It is vital that a company’s targets are placed within the remit of a senior managers role who has the authority to put it all into action. What is important is that they fully believe in the benefits D&I can bring, and that they engage with the right people and teams to make it happen. They don’t necessarily have to be from one of the under-represented groups, or to have experienced disadvantage themselves, but the focus is on putting the words into action, identifying appropriate solutions and learning from experienced voices.

The CIOB charter acknowledges that the construction industry is not one-whole entity that can respond to a blanket solution, but rather a collection of individual companies, small and large, and that change therefore sits with all of us. No time to waste – just get started!

Why sign up to CIOB’s Charter? • Provides road-map for change • Competitive advantage • Improved employee belonging • Enhanced credibility with clients • Ready to meet D&I responsible procurement requirements • Reputation as positive and progressive employer

How to sign-up to the charter Visit the EDI page on the CIOB Website Alternatively, contact:

Discussion Point – Please can you offer ideas on how we can further encourage companies to commit to the D&I charter.

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Diversity and Inclusion in the Built Environment

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