A new campaign that aims to support allyship of the LGBTQ+ community within construction, engineering and built environment sector has been launched by Building Equality.
Launching in February – LGBTQ+ History Month - Building Equality has created a Toolbox Talk aimed at educating the construction workforce, to empower colleagues across the industry to become active allies. The free resource explores the importance of allyship and how individuals and businesses can make a positive difference through small changes; alongside introducing LGBTQ+ terminology to widen understanding of the community.
An alliance of over 50 organisations including consultants, engineers, developers, contractors and institutions, Building Equality are passionate about working together and harnessing their collective power to drive LGBTQ+ inclusion in the built environment – creating welcoming and supportive workplaces for everyone.
Jake Stothard, Greater Manchester Building Equality chair and programmer for Arup, said: “We have great support from our allies within Building Equality and this is something we wanted to echo across the industry. We noticed that we often only refer to straight cisgender people as allies when there is also a need the LGBTQ+ community to be allies to one another.
“When Building Equality began, it was heavily dominated by cisgender gay men – something which has changed as we have grown and evolved. Recognising the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and the wide spectrum of identities and orientations, we felt that we needed to create a resource which educated the industry about those differences while affirming the importance of allyship.”
Kathleen Harrison, Greater Manchester Building Equality representative and framework manager and principal civil engineer at Jacobs, said: “The need for allies is not a new one. I have worked in the industry for over 20 years and the LGBTQ+ community have always been here. We’re thankfully moving to a place in which people are comfortable to bring their whole-selves to work and we need to ensure that we all have the understanding to support that. This latest resource continues Building Equality’s tradition of cross-industry collaboration to affect positive change through the development of free educational resources.”
Greater Manchester Building Equality members include: AECOM, Amey, Arcadis, Arup, Atkins, BAM, BDP, CIAT, CIOB, Civic Engineers, Hilti, Homes England, ICE, ISG, Jacobs, Kier, Mace, Mott MacDonald, Randall Thorp, Ramboll, RICS, Ring Stones, Seddon, Three Sixty, Turner & Townsend, VolkerWessel, Willmott Dixon and WYG.