Learning from my niece’s experience, I believe that having the ability to create a space where people can be open and talk about their issues and challenges is key to promoting greater equality and inclusion. As a straight white man is his 50’s I will never know what it’s like to be a gay or a transgender man for example, but I do know how important it is to feel like people respect and acknowledge my experiences and individual needs. That’s why I think it is vital that we provide opportunities for everyone to come together and share without the fear of judgement.
Within the construction industry, we have made great strides to ensure that everyone regardless of their background, gender or sexual orientation can feel welcome and realise their full potential. As a member of Building Equality, BAM is actively involved in fostering greater collaboration and engagement to help staff understand how we can better support LGBT+ people within the workplace. This includes events, which encourage a wider discussion about LGBT+ issues and how we can all make a positive change.
BAM is actively supporting this through our LGBT+ Employee Resource Group, by working with Building Equality, attending events such as Pride and encouraging staff to get involved in these, as well as through visibly supporting diversity and inclusion on our site hoarding imagery.
Finally, as we head out of lockdown and look towards the future, I firmly believe that we must not return to our old ways. Instead, we need to learn from our experience to create a more inclusive society and put an end to inequality. No one should feel excluded and I encourage everyone who reads this blog to identify ways that they can engage with people from other communities, so that we can all stand together to create a country where everyone is free to be themselves.