Construction firms with ethnically diverse workforces can better represent and serve their clients. The industry has woken up to this, offering would-be employees more opportunities.
Evidence shows that black and minority ethnic (BME) people are now entering the construction sector and progressing. And future opportunities look set to grow.
With the UK population projected to become more ethnically diverse, and with the BME population likely to be a source of significant future revenue, the inclusion of BME employees is essential for the construction industry.
An ethnically diverse workforce can make a company not only more attractive to would-be employees. It’s also more attractive to customers and more innovative in its approach. As one interviewee working in construction said in a survey:
“We deliver services in areas where there is a high BME population, but we’re not based in a similar area. I feel we need to have a BME workforce to be representative of our client group.”
Another interviewee also thought he would be more competitive if his workforce were more ethnically aligned to his diverse customer base.
Another said: “If we have a more diverse workforce we will have better ideas. If we don’t innovate we won’t be forward looking. This is about the team coming together, working together with different perspectives, and it’s got to be positive.”
If we have a more diverse workforce we will have better ideas. If we don’t innovate we won’t be forward looking.
Opportunities for ethnic minorities are further boosted by the law. Not only does the Equality Act 2010 outlaw ethnic discrimination, it also includes new powers that enable public bodies to use procurement to drive equality.
In short, if a public body contracts with a construction firm that is found to be acting in a discriminatory way, the public body can be held accountable. This is aimed at putting contractors’ business cultures under the spotlight.
Find out more about the Equality Act 2010