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The Diversity Data Benchmarking Conference

Published 12th Jan 24 - by bertasantos

As we reflect another successful year, we want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our partners and all our attendees for their active participation and meaningful contributions during the annual Diversity Data Benchmarking Conference for the Built Environment Sector, held in December 2023 in Birmingham. Hosted by the Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) Programme, the conference showcased the sector’s largest Diversity Survey, aligning with industry-approved and CLC-endorsed diversity metrics.

In its third year, the 2023 Diversity Survey, which garnered insights from over half a million employees across 537 companies, provided valuable data on diversity and equity across protected characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, disability, age along with other diversity and equity metrics. The conference itself offered an unparalleled opportunity for engaging discussions, gaining and sharing practical tools, and exploring ideas on enhancing diversity within workforces and supply chains, thereby contributing to the overall capability, sustainability, and organisational performance for the whole industry.

We had the chance to hear from sustainability and supply chain specialists, as well as industry leaders, on crucial topics such as attraction and recruitment, retention, ethnic diversity improvement, site-based operations, and supporting SMEs in fostering fairness, inclusion and respect.

The keynote address by Dame Judith Hackitt DBE, FREng, FIChemE, FCGI, Non-executive Director of HS2, Chair of Enginuity and Chair of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety further emphasised the significance of diversity in the built environment, offering personal insights and examples that underscored the importance of creating inclusive environments that cater to all individuals utilising it. Dame Judith emphasised the vital role of diversity and inclusion in attracting talent and improving sector outcomes. We extend our gratitude to Dame Judith for her impactful message on the significance of FIR in shaping a better-built environment and understanding community needs.

By bringing together industry experts and supply chain partners, the conference served as a catalyst for meaningful transformation, fostering collaboration to build a more inclusive and equitable future. As the annual Diversity Survey continues to grow, our partners play a pivotal role in expanding the dataset, drawing insights from various market segments, roles, and specialties within the sector. This collective effort allows for further analysis, measurement of progress, and identification of areas for targeted initiatives.

The discussions during our Q&A sessions and roundtables were remarkably insightful. The diverse views and experiences shared by participants made the conversations rich with ideas, best practices, and innovative solutions. These interactions not only made the event better but also gave us valuable insights for the FIR Programme moving forward. We look forward to building on these conversations as we continue to grow and expand the impact of FIR across the sector.

The Diversity Survey is open to, and we encourage, participation by all organisations working in the sector – the broader the reach, the more accurate picture can be obtained. Funded by partners of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, participating in the survey is free for all organisations operating in the built environment sector (from the smallest micro/sole trader businesses to the largest companies). Those that participate in the Diversity Survey receive a tailored report benchmarking their organisation’s diversity data against the sector, industry and ONS data sets.

The Diversity Survey is supported by industry partners including the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) which has set the target of achieving one million workers represented in the survey data by 2025.

Organisations may also choose to purchase the full Diversity Tool to capture diversity data right down into their whole supply chain. The Diversity Tool provides access to detailed reporting and interactive dashboards where organisations can interrogate the data, with analysis remaining confidential to them.