The inaugural event of the Diversity in Construction Network took place on 28th November 2019, at Olympia in Central London, and was another step in the right direction, with clear industry support for ‘the conversation’ around difference, diversity and inclusion.
Supported by Stuart Wilks and Annie Clift of Limeslade Consulting, Let’s Build was established earlier this year as an inclusive network of built environment professionals, seeking to further promote the presence and visibility of the BAME talent pool active within and across the sector, with a strategic focus on those within or in pursuit of careers in Architecture. The key objective is to ‘re-think’ the structure and composition of the UK construction industry, with a focus on its people. You can observe their on-going activities and approach and also acquire tickets for the next Let’s Build event, via their website [here].
DCS Founder and Executive Director, Bola Abisogun OBE offered his support [to the teams from London Build Expo and Let’s Build] by way of his personal attendance at and contribution to a panel discussion, moderated by Ms Annette Fisher RIBA MNIA, Managing Partner of FA Global. The three (3) person panel was completed by fellow Architect and industry colleague, Mr Rasheed Dauda RIBA MFPWS, Senior Parter at ARDA Architects.
The well attended 45minute panel discussion, was themed “Challenging who builds London” noting many of the well-researched industry statistics with reference to the 'talentpool' currently being afforded the myriad opportunities to participate in the delivery of major [and minor] projects across London. The demonstrable lack of #BAME talent - at all levels - along with a clear need to diversify the industry's leadership, was highlighted and discussed, along with a detailed exchange of the key challenges that continue to prevail and co-exist across the built environment.
An informed 20minute conversation followed, with a lively and engaging audience, with several questions posed with direct reference to the 'future of the sector', in the absence of a much needed, representative and diverse talent pool.
Rebecca Lovelace, Chief Dot-Joiner at Building People CIC – made reference to the need to challenge the logic behind ‘siloed thinking’ and further promote, sustainable industry facing solutions, that were both scaleable and simultaneously capable of addressing a key and historic challenge across the sector - a genuine lack of collaboration. You can observe the commendable work of Building People and the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust via the University College of Estate Management 'UCEM' platform; seen here.
As another passionate member of the growing #ED&I eco-system, Let’s Build aims to continue to develop their contribution to 'the conversation' well into 2020 and beyond. Watch their space.
Photography & Copyright: Sharron E Wallace (2019)