Building Equality in the construction industry

For the first time, the LGBT+ working group #BuildingEquality marched at Leeds Pride, setting an example of how leading organisations can unite to tackle sector-wide challenges and advocate change.

Almost 100 people from across the construction and property industry joined us in the parade to celebrate diversity, encourage workplace inclusion and challenge industry stereotypes to a reported crowd of 50 000 spectators lining the route.

The debut entry was supported by sixteen organisations representing a broad cross-section of the construction and property sectors. Marchers were joined by a rainbow-coloured JCB digger which was one of the highlights of Leeds Pride 2018.

#BuildingEquality comprises LGBT+ employees and allies from across the construction and property industry, all of whom are passionate about working together and harnessing their collective power to drive LGBT+ inclusion. It is a strong example of how leading organisations are uniting and collaborating to tackle industry-wide challenges and bring about real change.

Building Equality digger

Marchers from the School of Civil Engineering next to the rainbow-coloured JCB digger.

Lecturer in Structures and the School’s Champion of Equality and Inclusion Dr Emilio Garcia-Taengua said: "The School of Civil Engineering is strongly committed to the promotion of equality and inclusion, and in particular the visibility of LGBT+ staff and students.

"I personally feel that we are making a difference in highlighting the highly valuable contribution of LGBT+ people to the construction industry and the broader engineering community, and we are really keen in getting this message across.

"For the first time ever, this year we have participated in the Leeds Pride #BuildingEquality entry together with sixteen organisations of the sector, and in the LGBTinSTEM Day to promote LGBT+ visibility in the Sciences and Engineering.

I personally feel that we are making a difference in highlighting the highly valuable contribution of LGBT+ people to the construction industry and the broader engineering community...

"We are working hard in organising a number of other activities which will take place during the academic year 2018/19, so this has been just the beginning."

Building Equality at Leeds Pride

Representatives from the #BuildingEquality campaign marching through Leeds.

#BuildingEquality’s entrance to Leeds Pride marks another significant step in a rapidly growing movement to advocate LGBT+ inclusion in construction. #BuildingEquality recently celebrated its fourth successful year marching at London Pride and the Leeds entry stands alongside recent debuts in Manchester and Newcastle.

Further information

Several organisations are supporting #BuildingEquality for the first time and are just beginning to establish their own LGBT+ networks. Over the coming months, those with established networks will support these initiatives to further grow and strengthen advocacy across the industry. On the back of this, #BuildingEquality hopes to organise further events in Leeds over the coming year. To get involved or for further information, please contact Alex Morris, Arup. 

For more information about the School of Civil Engineering's commitment to equality and inclusion and upcoming STEM LGBT+ networking events, get in touch with Dr Emilio Garcia-Taengua.