Andrew Campbell-Edie, Communications Manager at the Irish Centre for Diversity, reflects on #BuildingEquality and further progress on D&I in construction
The Irish workplace has changed and we now have people from all different races, backgrounds, heritages, religions, people from the LGBTQ+ community and people of different abilities.
Furthermore, Ireland is attracting people to live and work from diverse backgrounds and the world is becoming ever more interconnected. Now, more than ever, it is important that everyone feels included and shares a sense of belonging.
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) has become an imperative focus for businesses and organisations across Ireland and it especially applies to the construction sector with the need to attract and retain the best talent to the industry and actively address under-representation.
To help future-proof the sector CIF and the Irish Centre for Diversity (ICFD) have partnered to offer the CIF D&I Charter. The Charter highlights CIF’s commitment to Diversity and Inclusion in the construction industry and builds on the great work done by the #BuildingEquality campaign.
More than just ticking boxes
Based in Waterford, ICFD works in partnership with organisations across Ireland to help them embed D&I in all they do. We want organisations to do more than just tick boxes, we want them to transform the workplace environment to one that is equitable and inclusive. We support progress in this vital area by offering Investors in Diversity – Ireland’s premier D&I accreditation mark.
Supported by Ibec, the programme recognises existing efforts and supports the journey of continuous improvement by providing a structured framework to transform practices and culture.
In addition to being a ‘badge of merit’, Investors in Diversity is valued for providing the guidance, tools and resources to support organisations – of all sizes and at all stages of D&I development – on the journey of continuous improvement.
The framework lays out defined outcomes across three progressive levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold.
• Bronze establishes a firm foundation to further build on with two key elements of leadership training and a review of policies
• Silver measures the culture and the sense of fairness from the employee’s perspective through an anonymous company-wide survey. Results from an anonymous company-wide survey are benchmarked against industry peers and are used to build an action plan for further progress
• Gold assesses the ‘lived experience’ of embedding D&I initiatives and measures their impacts against a framework of five pillars:
- Diverse and Inclusive Leadership
- Policies, Procedures & Processes
- Recruitment, Retention & Progression
- Recording and Monitoring
- External Impacts
On a recent visit to Dublin, it was heartening to recognise so many of the names on construction sites that have become familiar from either engaging in Investors in Diversity or our D&I training services.
In addition to the CIF, construction industry businesses with Investors in Diversity accreditation that are excelling in the area – and enjoying the benefits of Inclusive workplaces – include John Sisk & Son, Glenveagh, Collen Construction, Onnec, John Paul Construction, Ardmac and Mercury Engineering.
We look forward to supporting everyone in the sector to continue on their journey of further D&I progress.
We recently launched the inaugural National Diversity and Inclusion Awards (NDIawards.ie). Taking place at Croke Park, Dublin on February 2, 2023, the awards are the first dedicated event to celebrate progress on D&I in Ireland.
Our judging panel includes Senator Eileen Flynn and others who will select the winners demonstrating the best practice across 10 categories including Race & Ethnicity, Gender, LGBTQ+ and Disability.
There will be additional recognition for leaders, employees, workplace initiatives and public sector bodies that are making a real difference to those around them. Entries and nominations for the awards, which are free to enter, are open now at the awards website NDIawards.ie (closing date is Friday, October 28, 2022).
In addition, we will be closing our 2022 events schedule with a free webinar – at 11am on Tuesday, November 8 – that focusses on the sterling efforts to ‘Build Diversity and Inclusion in the Construction Industry’.
The event will bring together a speaker panel drawn from the construction industry to look ahead to what further developments are planned.