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Gender a bigger construction career barrier than sexuality – study

Office workspaces are sites of diversity, inclusion and acceptance for LGBT employees and other minority groups within the industry. However, “construction sites were often framed as traditional, exclusive spaces dominated by hyper-masculine (white) males.”

Photo by Pop & Zebra from Unsplash.com

Gender is a bigger barrier than sexuality when it comes to moving up the job ladder in the construction industry. So said LGBT women in the report, “LGBT in Construction: Exploring Experiences to Inform Inclusive Practices”, which noted that the “old boys club” is still prevalent here.

Done by Dr. Sarah Barnard, of the School of Business and Economics, and Professor Andrew Dainty, of the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, the report noted a difference in treatment of LGBT people in construction sites and in offices.

Not surprisingly, the LGBT participants who work – at all – in the construction industry were predominantly based in offices, rather than site locations.
Photo by @umityildirim from Unsplash.com

Accordingly, “office workspaces as sites of diversity, inclusion and acceptance for LGBT employees and other minority groups within the industry (including females, ethnic minorities and individuals with disabilities).”

However, “construction sites were often framed as traditional, exclusive spaces dominated by hyper-masculine (white) males.”

Not surprisingly, the LGBT participants who work – at all – in the construction industry were predominantly based in offices, rather than site locations.

To fix the situation, the researchers’ recommendations include:

  • Greater support for specialized LGBT support networks/groups within the businesses in the industry.
  • Embed facilitating LGBT visibility and awareness in normal business practice.
  • Actively promote diversity and equality in the industry throughout the supply chain.
  • Provide training for colleagues, particularly managers and leaders.
  • Develop sector-wide code of practice.
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