The CIF is encouraging construction companies to sign up to a Diversity and Inclusion pledge launched last night by its President Pat Lucey. Those companies signing up to the CIF Diversity and Inclusion Charter commit to improving D&I in their organisations. The initiative is seen as a step by industry to ensure all people feel welcome to work in construction and to ensure skills shortages are avoided. The event was sponsored by the Mac a pioneer for D&I in the construction industry.
President Pat Lucey stated at the launch event: “The construction industry provides careers to over 145,000 individuals. We want everyone to feel welcome in Irish construction and to contribute to this industry as we reshape Irish society. I’m proud that we are launching the CIF’s D&I Charter tonight and already companies are starting to sign up and committing to taking the steps toward greater diversity and inclusion. Most people in the industry are male and we have been working hard to increase female participation in the industry from building site to boardroom. Tonight’s launch marks the CIF’s first attempt to harness the positivity of construction companies for any gender, age, sexual orientation and nationality to work in our industry.”
The CIF is partnering with the Irish Centre for Diversity on the initiative. The centre will provide training, advice and consultancy for companies signing up to the charter. In addition, CIF and the centre are providing D&I training programmes for all levels of management and staff in Irish construction companies.
Caroline Tyler, Irish Centre for Diversity, stated; “We’re delighted to partner with the CIF on this important initiative. We have worked with several CIF members in Ireland and the UK. The industry has many exemplars of good practice and this charter has the potential to spread D&I across the entire industry. Very often companies will understand the benefits of D&I but are unsure of where or even how to start. This charter outlines some of the very simple yet impactful changes that can make a huge difference to individuals in the workforce, potential employees and ultimately organisations that develop a D&I culture.”
The CIF survey found that 64% of respondents believed they had an inclusive culture for the LGBTQI community. Whilst 60% reported that they accommodated workers over the age of 65 in their organisation. !2% of respondents had non-nationals in their workforce in a trend that looks set to continue as the industry struggles to address skills gaps in specific sectors. In 2016, Solas and EY DKM, on behalf of the construction industry identified a potential demand for an additional 100,000 workers up to 2020 to deliver Ireland’s required housing and infrastructure requirements. In 2017, the CIF found that only one in ten workers on building sites were female, rising to 4 in 10 workers in offices and 1 in ten at CEO/Managing Director level. Recent CSO data shows an increase in women working in the industry as construction activity has ramped up since 2013.