Six of the 11 organisations behind the Construction Inclusion Coalition last September reveal how they will be strengthening their commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in 2024.

Since the launch of the Construction Inclusion Coalition and the Built on Better Pledge in September 2023, some members have been planning how they can continue strengthening their commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in 2024.

From tackling unconscious bias to establishing EDI Employee Resource Groups, the Coalition’s Strategic Partners are looking ahead with a number of new initiatives.

Knauf is building on the Dignity at Work programme launched in 2023. Its Every Word Matters Campaign will encourage all employees to think more carefully about how they communicate with their colleagues, asking them to consider the words they are using and where they are unsure, to pause before they say or write it. The programme aims to create greater inclusivity by being more thoughtful with both language and actions.

Huws Gray’s initial focus will be on highlighting to senior leaders how closely a greater understanding and awareness of EDI is linked to employee engagement and overall business success.

To support this, Huws Gray is rolling out resources and training for every employee on critical EDI areas, for example the use of banter in the workplace. These resources will also tie into Huws Gray’s new management toolkit, with fact sheets on EDI areas to support managers to lead their teams in a more personalised way.

Huws Gray will also be working with an external agency to develop its Employee Value Proposition which will bring colleagues together and enable them to find fun and creative ways to build their new Huws Gray Group culture which is inclusive and diverse.

Reflecting on 2023, Ibstock undertook a review of the year’s recruitment data that found while 33% of applicants to its Engineering Apprenticeship programmes were from ethnic minority backgrounds, only a small percentage progressed through to selection and offer stage.

While this is in line with data from the Supply Chain Sustainability School’s Diversity Data Benchmarking Report (2023), minimising unconscious bias is going to be integral to its EDI commitment and apprentice recruitment in 2024.

The report revealed that black and ethnic minority candidates are attracted to roles in the built environment, however, evidence suggests securing a job offer is three to five times harder than a white candidate. Ibstock plans to tackle this with more training for hiring managers and diverse assessment panels.

In 2023 Genuit celebrated four EDI moments as a group for the first time – International Women’s Day, Pride, National Inclusion Week and Movember, each providing an opportunity to raise awareness of its EDI goals. Genuit’s own leaders also held local, on-site discursive sessions focused on the specific themes raised by each milestone.

Expanding this work is a key focus for Genuit in 2024, with the establishment of Employee Resource Groups built on diversity data and feedback gathered from employees, with each having their own action areas to empower employees to drive positive impact for the Genuit community.

In 2024, Wavin is looking to extend its support of female, transgender and non-binary employees by introducing a Menopause Policy. Launched in conjunction with leadership training to raise awareness of the symptoms of menopause, the impact it can have on employees and the support in place for those affected.

Wavin will be designing and delivering basic entry level EDI Awareness sessions for their leaders around terminology, unconscious bias, indirect discrimination.

Wavin also has its own inclusion calendar, communicated to all employees and displayed on dynamic screens and noticeboards in high traffic areas to improve awareness of under-represented groups in the workforce.

Bristan Group’s initial focus for 2024 will be on developing a set of meaningful metrics that will enable them to: identify gaps and opportunities for improvements, communicate and drive their commitments of EDI, and clearly demonstrate progress against the objectives while striving to address the gaps.

Bristan Group will also be introducing monthly facilitated open forum sessions for colleagues to debate a variety of topics. These will provide another opportunity to build awareness and understanding of different perspectives across the organisation.