The Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) has launched a major new industry-wide ED&I campaign, Building Inclusivity. Bringing together partners including Aspierations, Building Equality and Constructing Rainbows, the campaign aims to help members create more inclusive workspaces ensuring the opportunity for both meeting skills shortages and retaining talent is seized.
Figures from ACE, which represents the businesses large and small that design, deliver and manage our built environment, show that progress has been made in recent years, especially by larger firms. Respondents to ACE’s most recent benchmarking study, show that all respondents with more than 500 staff have a dedicated ED&I strategy, with nearly nine out of ten (88%) stating that this approach has helped them to recruit a more diverse workforce, and three quarters’ (75%) retain it.
The study also revealed that around a third (31%) of SMEs – where resources are often more constrained – are planning to develop a dedicated ED&I strategy in 2022, with nearly two thirds (63%) welcoming support from ACE in this space.
The industry-level campaign will initially focus on three key areas of inclusivity bringing together experts, industry leaders and individuals from the LGBTQ+, neurodivergent and Ethnic Minority communities to discuss the barriers to the creation of inclusive workplaces. In addition to the online roundtables, expert commentary and the sharing of practical tools and advice, members will be invited to contribute to the creation of a five-point ED&I plan which will feed into an industry Workplace Charter at a soon to be announced Conference in London in October.
Commenting on the launch, Stephen Marcos Jones, ACE CEO said: “We hope that the launch of our industry campaign Building Inclusivity will inspire our members to create more inclusive workplaces. Individuality should be viewed as a strength as it gives us a chance to see things another way and to think differently. Our members already have some excellent stories to tell and we’re looking forward to sharing them as widely as possible.
“In the spirit of the campaign, our roundtables on LGBTQ+, neurodiversity and Ethnic Minorities are open to all. Whether you lead a business or HR function, manage people in a team, or are an emerging professional, they will help you understand the barriers colleagues can face, while offering practical insight from experts as well as best-practice from inside and outside the industry.
“The campaign is not just about the sharing of information. We want to use this opportunity to bring members together and collaborate towards the creation of a new cross-industry ED&I Workplace Charter, a sector-wide pledge which will reinforce to future talent that inclusivity is core to the way we work, while demonstrating that our dynamic industry is welcoming to all and forward-thinking.
“Creating more inclusive workplace cultures is not just a box-ticking exercise. Done correctly, it will help alleviate skills shortages and retain existing staff. Equally, it will ensure your business reflects the society your clients need to deliver for.”
The roundtables take place in July, September and October and are open to all. Speakers include representatives from Aspierations, Building Equality and Constructing Rainbows, with more to be announced. Best-practice from members including AECOM, Arcadis, Atkins, Buro Happold, Hoare Lea, Mott MacDonald, and Ramboll will also be featured.
- Roundtable: Beyond Pride (LGBTQ+) – Wednesday 13 July 2022,12.00pm.
- Roundtable: Alternative Thinking (Neurodiversity) – Wednesday 7 September 2022, 12.00pm.
- Roundtable: Overcoming Barriers (Ethnic Minorities) – Thursday 6 October 2022, 12.00pm.
Campaign content will be added over the coming weeks at: www.acenet.co.uk/inclusivity