Trade bodies launch major diversity initiative

Six leading construction bodies have joined together to commit to a three-year action plan to improve equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Landscape Institute (LI) have published a 45-point action plan to improve their response in the three key areas. 

Representing about 350,000 members collectively, the six organisations will collaborate to deliver three objectives, which centre around data collection, EDI standards and improving understanding of the transition from education to employment.

The organisations expect to hone their research criteria by the end of this year, and will be in a position to publish diversity data on their membership by April 2024.

Throughout 2023, groups of recently-qualified students will be consulted on their experiences, alongside 50 employers with graduate programmes, to better understand the challenges they face with recruiting and retaining a diverse graduate workforce. 

Members of the working group will collaborate to deliver the action plan over the next three years, with annual progress reviews from senior leadership taking place every February.

CIOB chief executive Caroline Gumble said: “Increasing diversity across our sector is vital if we’re to attract and retain the best talent, and address the skills and people shortages we face.

“Uniting with our sister professional bodies to set out a clear plan of action is a major milestone, and I firmly believe this collaborative approach will help drive the positive culture change we so urgently need.”

Earlier this week, Laing O’Rourke announced that employees who became new parents would be able to access at least six months of parental leave at full pay, regardless of their gender.

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