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Construction head calls for Industry action on diversity

Posted: 17th July 2009

The Construction Industry Council (CIC), which represents the sector’s professional institutions, is calling for the industry to unite to address the sector’s poor performance on diversity. Statistics show that the sector is dominated by white, able-bodied men.
Despite the fact that government legislation covers the prevention of discrimination according to gender, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, family and age, research undertaken by the University of West of England on behalf of CIC reveals that of the total numbers employed within the construction workforce:
• 13.5% are women
• 2% are within the black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups
• 14% with some form of impairment.

The report also reveals that there is a lack of available information on diversity with some institutions unable to provide any demographic breakdown of their construction labour force. Comparisons were made with both the legal and medical sector, both of which are much more advanced in embracing equality and diversity in their workforce and have monitoring structures in place.

Comments Keith Clarke, chairman of the CIC, “The construction sector should recruit a workforce that reflects our clients’ needs. A diverse workforce brings new skills, makes the sector more appealing to a wider pool of recruits and improves staff retention. And on an international scale, it gives us a competitive advantage. We can no longer afford to lag behind the legal and medical professions.”
For a full copy of the report launched yesterday at the CIC Summer Reception, please visit