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News & opinion

20 JUN 2019

‘Toolbox Talk’ aims to stamp out LGBT+ discrimination

Kim Bailey RICS

Kim Bailey

PR & Communications Manager (North)

Leeds, UK


Building Equality - an alliance of construction organisations and professional Institutions working together to drive LGBT+ inclusion in the construction sector – have launched a new Toolbox Talk initiative to help stamp out the use of homophobic language and discriminatory behaviour towards LGBT+ professionals in the workplace.

The Toolbox – which is already being taken up by major contractors, construction consultants and professional institutions, and is proudly supported by RICS - encourages those that work in construction to call-out any such inappropriate behaviour. It also aims to educate others on LGBT+ rights, which alarmingly are taking a step backwards in some areas across the globe.

LGBT+ Toolbox Talk

As part of Building Equality's work to collaborate with the wider supply chain, the network's anti-bullying Toolbox Talk initiative comprises of an informative presentation pack, to be used by site managers. The content and resources within the pack aim to educate others on the impact of discriminatory behaviour, LGBT+ history and encourage a supportive workplace were everyone is treated fairly and equally:

  • Discrimination & Microaggressions: The Toolbox addresses the use of inappropriate language and discriminatory behaviour in the workplace, and the impact such prejudice can have on a person's mental health
  • LGBT+ terminology: There are many stereotypes and misunderstandings about LGBT+ individuals and the use of LGBT+ terminology. This resource clears these misunderstandings up; for example, you don't have to be feminine to be a gay man (or masculine to be a lesbian) and being transgender is different from being gay or bisexual or intersex
  • Timeline of LGBT History: Key dates and milestones on how far we have come – or indeed not – in accepting LGBT+ individuals and partnerships can be seen in this humbling timeline. Amongst the positive stats, equal rights to adopt came into force in 2002, yet it was only in 2014 that same sex marriages became legal
  • Alarmingly, the Toolbox also identifies issues and areas across the globe where LGBT+ rights are taking a step backwards. For example, gay relationships are criminalised in 72 countries, and sadly attacks on LGBT+ people have surged by almost 80% in the UK across the last four years
  • Be an Ally, not a Bystander: The Toolbox highlights the importance of staff calling out inappropriate behaviour and being an ally - a person who supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBT social movements, and challenges homophobia, biphobia and transphobia

To accompany the Toolbox Talk resource, Building Equality have also launched an LGBT+ anti-bullying poster campaign to help drive inclusivity on construction sites as well as in offices. The posters challenge and raise awareness of the use of inappropriate language such as "That's so gay", and being LGBT is "just a phase".

Building Equality Committee Member and RICS Regional Board Member, John Doyle MRICS of Dooley Associates in Manchester commented: "Bullying, intimidation and the use of inappropriate language can have a huge and damaging effect on people's lives, their mental health, and their ability to work. Yet sadly, we know that many LGBT+ people in construction do experience homophobia and discrimination in the workplace.

"We're committed to driving inclusivity in the construction sector, and our aim with both the Toolbox Talk initiative and our poster campaign is to encourage those that work in construction to not tolerate bullying, harassment and the use of inappropriate language, and call-out any such behaviour. This will help make the workplace fairer and more inclusive for everyone."

Request your free Building Equality resources

Building Equality are happy to present the Toolbox Talk to organisations. To arrange this or to request a free copy of the Toolbox Talk initiative to present internally and/or the LGBT+ anti-bullying posters, email John Doyle.

Contact John Doyle

Get involved with Building Equality

You can find out more about Building Equality and their upcoming events in your area on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Kim Bailey RICS

Kim Bailey

PR & Communications Manager (North)

Leeds, UK


Kim's role is to raise awareness of the work of RICS and chartered surveyors through the organisation's Northern (North West, Yorkshire & Humber and North East) media channels.

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