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June is pride month

June is Pride Month. It’s a global month-long celebration which honours visibility and inclusion for the LGBT+ community.  As such – you will see many organisations host events, show off the rainbow flag (I’m loving CESW’s June logo!) and write articles (like this one) about how important Pride is.

Pride is one of the most effective civil rights movements in history, but for those who think that securing gay marriage meant the end of the fight, there is still so much to do for so many – including fighting for the rights and lives of LGBT+ people around the globe, tackling LGBT+ hate crime, including and improving LGBT+ education in schools, and securing true equal rights once and for all.

This year is different, there are no Pride Parades for communities to come together to celebrate the importance of LGBT+ rights and culture.  However, the Covid-19 pandemic has made the use of virtual technology, essential; not just for Pride, but for everything.  Enabling families, businesses and communities to keep in contact and do whatever we can, remotely.  In fact, I’ve never seen so many LGBT+ Pride flags flying, as all around the country we are showing our thanks to key workers and the NHS.

There are many Pride events happing across the country, throughout this month; for example, my partner and I joined Building Equality’s* ‘Bingo Lingo’ event.  A fun, virtual, bingo session with people joining from across the country, we learnt some new bingo calls…’No.41 – Graham Nor-ton’; ‘No.66 – Cherry Chapstick’; ‘No.2 – Danny La Rue’ (only those over a certain age got this one)…to name but a few and much to our delight, we even won a ‘full house’ – prizes in the post!  On reflection, I have found that I am connecting with a far broader cohort of people, both socially and in work, through our use of video conferencing, so perhaps there are some positives to be had from this lock-down?

I would encourage everyone to do what they can to show support for our LGBT+ colleagues, and minorities, more generally.  For many years now the construction industry has been grappling with some major issues: an ageing and shrinking workforce; a lack of skills and capacity; not to mention, the need for productivity and innovation.

Under-investment in training and recruitment, combined with the poor image of construction are a key focus. If we are to attract more new entrants, young people and more women into the sector, the industry must innovate and push for change.  As we start to emerge from the Covid-19 lockdown, we need to be more diverse and inclusive as an industry.

CESW is the organisation charged with driving the change agenda, through our commitment to leadership, quality and people.  Our driving ambition is to provide an industry of opportunity.  We can all help to create a truly diverse and inclusive industry – one where your sexual orientation or gender identity is not seen as an issue, or creates a barrier to entry or progression; an industry that recognises, people perform better when they can be themselves; an industry where the members are visible allies and use their roles to create a workplace culture that is inclusive of everyone – an environment where people can be themselves at work.

Let’s celebrate Pride…and have Pride in all that we do!

On that note, I’m off for a ‘No.3 – Cup of herbal tea’.

*Building Equality is an alliance of construction consultants, engineers, developers, contractors, and institutions who are passionate about working together and harnessing our collective power to drive LGBT+ inclusion in the construction industry.

Lisa Broom Senior Development Manager  Homes England

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