Past president Charles Egbu delivered the keynote speech for CIOB’s EDI conference
CIOB held its EDI conference, Challenging the Status Quo, yesterday (28 November) and convened key stakeholders from across the industry to help address inequality in construction.
The hybrid event opened with a keynote session delivered by past president Charles Egbu who called for the use of data-driven approaches to make the industry more welcoming to all.
Speaking at the event, he said: “We need to ask ourselves what is going on in our organisations. How are we really progressing and how do we measure that? Do we know what good looks like?
“Yes, much of this appears as qualitative – getting the appropriate culture, trying to speak the appropriate language, showing respect, showing dignity, understanding what humanity is and respecting human nature. All of these can be a bit intangible.
“But surely, things like retaining the workforce, understanding how many people you have recruited as part of your EDI [policy], understanding the contribution of everyone to productivity and improvement, understanding how many people are promoted, from a diverse point of view, all these can be measured… and where people are not toeing the line, we need to be brave enough to call it out.”
Egbu added: “We work in a data-driven environment where data allows us to call things out because we have the evidence base. An important aspect of EDI is to create a culture that is data driven. That is really important.”
Other sessions during the conference involved panel debates and case study presentations. The key themes included disability inclusive practices; promoting gender equality in senior levels; understanding neurodiversity; addressing underrepresentation; and lack of diversity