Building inclusivity: laying the foundations for the future

Sarah Speirs

Director, UK Communications and External Affairs (RICS)

‘Building Inclusivity’ is the first report of its kind to look at all aspects of diversity and inclusion in the land, property and construction sector. This data, provided by UK firms committed to changing their diversity profile, allows us to see how we measure up against other sectors and provides a baseline from which we can track our achievements.

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The data was provided by UK firms who have signed up to our Inclusive Employer Quality Mark.

The report has been created against a backdrop of stereotypes and low levels of representation — 13% female, 1.2% British. Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) and 0.6% disability — in the UK’s construction and built environment sector. Clearly we do not reflect British society.

With statistics like these, our reputation is taking an enormous hit, which impacts on our ability to recruit future candidates and be fully competitive to meet today’s challenges.

Turning aspiration into action

Through this groundbreaking report, we have the first unique insight into what is actually happening within our workforce; this evidence will help us to work together to drive and foster positive change.

Firms' responses show some good practice in the sector and what appears to be a strong commitment to the diversity and inclusion agenda. However, many of the organisations that responded are clearly at an early stage of their journey. While there is ambition and senior support, there is also a lack of planning, implementation and monitoring that is required to see real change happen. Overall, the data suggests there are a number of key gaps to be closed as the sector moves from aspiration into action.

Sharing best practice online

In summer 2016, we will launch an online platform to inform the gaps identified by the report. The platform will be based on the six principles of our diversity and inclusion work and will offer a space for sharing best practice and learning from case studies. Finally, the platform will also comprise a section where all companies can find out about key opportunities including relevant training, events and awards.

The firms who provided the data in this report have already embarked upon the journey to become inclusive employers and are fully aware of the business benefits. By learning from these pioneers, we can work to make a difference across the wider industry.

Read this report, look at what is working in your business and where you are challenged and then start to learn from, and share it with, your peers.

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D&I in the land, property and the built environment sectors

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