Challenges experienced by LGBT workers in the construction sector are to be addressed during an event organised by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) London Metropolitan Branch on 25 April

The event, which focuses on equality, diversity and inclusion, will identify the obstacles LGBT construction workers face in the workplace and provide practical tools and know-how to break down barriers and make the most of diversity to improve safety, health and wellbeing.

Specialists and industry representatives will provide their expert opinions and practical experience on a range of topics to improve understanding about equality, diversity and inclusion. This will include:

  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other protected characteristics in the construction sector;
  • What diversity means – understanding our subconscious biases;
  • Staff appeal, engagement and retention;
  • Diversity (including gender pay gap).

Martin Coyd OBE, operations director of Health, Safety & Wellbeing at Mace, will be delivering a talk titled, ‘The next barrier, or just another one?’, examining the experiences of LGBT workers in the construction sector and what work needs to be done to create a more welcoming environment.

Coyd said: “Fear of stigma in the workplace can make workers feel unwelcome or lacking in a voice and impacts health and wellbeing.

“In recent years, the construction sector has taken the first step on a long journey towards equality, but more work needs to be done to create a welcoming environment. By embracing LGBT workers, companies are recognised as good places to work and see improvements in engagement, staff retention and productivity.”

Anne Isaacs, chair of IOSH’s London Metropolitan Branch, added: “When equality, diversity and inclusion are promoted in the right way, people collaborate more, listen more and become more tolerant.

“Equality, diversity and inclusion encourage creativity, information-sharing and problem-solving and make us all better communicators. These are qualities that stand us in good stead in our roles as OSH professionals.”

The event will take place on 25 April at UBM UK Ltd from 8-4pm.

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