Laing O’Rourke’s Summer of Pride got off to a flying start this weekend, when we joined 22 other companies in the Pride in London parade under the #BuildingEquality banner. This year we marched in support of the LGBT+ community alongside 260 construction professionals, both LGBT+ people and Allies, from 22 other contractors and consultancies behind our rainbow JCB.
Construction News recently conducted a survey of 1,045 people in the construction industry and found that over half of LGBT+ respondents aren’t comfortable being open about their sexuality or gender at work; and 28% have had an offensive or inappropriate comment made about their gender or sexuality in the workplace over the past year. Although sobering these statistics for 2017 mark a slight improvement from the previous year - in 2016 33% of LGBT+ respondents had experienced an insulting or offensive comment.
These results show that there is much work to be done to ensure the construction industry is a truly diverse and inclusive workplace for its LGBT+ employees and that is why the work of the Laing O’Rourke Pride network and #BuildingEquality is so important.
Craig Donachy, Laing O’Rourke Pride co-chair and #BuildingEquality committee member, said: “This is the third year Laing O’Rourke has marched at Pride with #BuildingEquality, and our group gets bigger every year. We’ve gone from one person in 2016 to being oversubscribed for 2018 which is a huge achievement and testament to the work of the whole network. We have made great progress by celebrating everyone’s individuality and encouraging all employees to show their true colours in the workplace. Working with our competitors through #BuildingEquality is hugely important to ensure that the industry as a whole has a culture that includes both the LGBT+ community, and all other groups.”
Joss Underwood, Laing O’Rourke Pride co-chair, added: “Pride in London marks the start of this year’s Summer of Pride and we will be at other Pride events around the country over the next two months – Liverpool, Brighton and Manchester. We’re also spreading a message of diversity by using the Pride events as a catalyst to start a conversation about inclusion throughout the business.”
Building Equality is an alliance of construction consultants, engineers, developers and contractors who are passionate about working together and harnessing our collective power to drive LGBT+ inclusion in the construction industry. Our vision is to have a construction industry that is wholly welcoming, inclusive and supportive of LGBT+ professionals across the UK.
Laing O’Rourke joined Building Equality in 2016, alongside AECOM, AmecFoster Wheeler, Arcadis, Arup, Atkins (member of the SNC-Lavalin Group), Balfour Beatty, bam, Bechtel, BuroHappold Engineering, Costain, Gleeds, Interserve, Jacobs, Kier, Lendlease, Mace, Mott MacDonald, Ramboll, Skanska, Willmott Dixon Interiors, Wood plc and WSP.