As BAM participates for the first time in Pride, Barbara Cahalane says there’s more to do to create a culture where everyone in BAM can be open about their sexuality.
It’s great that BAM Construct UK along with other BAM companies is participating in Pride in Manchester and London this year.
However, I have been working in BAM for 11 years and, by now, I know hundreds of my colleagues by name, at least, but I don’t personally know of any male colleagues who are gay. So I wonder what all of us in BAM can do to make it easier for gay men in BAM to be open about their sexuality (if they want to be.)
We’ve been making good progress on diversity of late. Women are progressing through our business; there’s a programme of unconscious bias training underway for our senior managers; we’ve being doing great work on mental health awareness. Last year, two of my female colleagues married their girlfriends and it was great to see workmates celebrating with them. Attitudes are changing for the better.
But my concern is that, in 2016, when we asked staff in our company in a confidential, anonymous, survey to indicate their sexual orientation a small number of respondents identified as a bi-sexual man, but no one identified as a gay man. 8.6% of respondents selected the option ‘prefer not to say’. I would guess that many other companies in the construction sector would report similar findings.