Let’s talk about Diversity & Equality in the Construction Industry

In an industry where the majority of the field is male dominated we chat with Lucile who is an advocate and leader in Diversity and equality and get her opinion on the matter.

As an award-winning diversity and inclusions expert, what would be the biggest factor we need to consider as a community when driving change within our industry?

As a community, we must recognise and celebrate all the diverse characteristics that make us unique but also seek to find common grounds through inclusion. Driving change towards greater equality in the workplace will be challenging at times but it’s important to be able to create a safe environment to enable difficult conversations. I’m a great believer that the most diverse and inclusive a workplace, the better it is for everyone, not just for those who identified themselves as from an underrepresented group or minority.

Promoting diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace can be a lot easier than expected. Small actions can have a big impact and the importance of having conversations with colleagues, clients and managers should not be underestimated. We also need to be more aware about intersectionality and understanding that one individual is made up of several characteristics. We should aim to surround ourselves with champions and allies at the highest levels of the organisations but also involve everyone to truly drive change.

The Top100Women’s initiative is so important as it casts a light on the fantastic role models already existing in the industry. Inspiring the next generation is critical if we want our industry to remain fit and relevant for the future. We need to attract and retain the best talent from all backgrounds by promoting a positive image of the industry as well as the great opportunities which are highlighted through the TheTop100Women’s initiative.

What is one thing we can do as individuals to lead change and empower other women in our industry?

We should aim to positively disrupt the status quo with forward-thinking initiatives that in the long run will be beneficial for everyone. We should be promoting champions and allies in the workplace as they can have the necessary influence to drive change forward. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion needs to become part of business as usual and if possible be part of the business objectives. It is everyone’s responsibility to drive Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace.

Your biggest challenge in trying to drive change in societal norms and perceptions?

Driving change in societal norms and perceptions in an effective and sustainable way will take time. We all need to become more aware of unconscious bias and be confident to be able to challenge attitudes and behaviours in ourselves and others. We need to ensure that everyone regardless of their role in an organisation understands that Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is not only the right thing to do but it also makes business sense.

Women in our industry play such important roles in shaping the world that we live in and our future. This initiative enhances social change and empowerment which can also include confidence to own and celebrate their successes as well as leadership skills.

Lucile Kamar
Equalities Manager – RICS