Built environment bodies make three-year commitment to improve EDI

Six membership bodies from the built environment sector have launched a three-year action plan to improve equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

The 45-point action plan was developed by representatives from The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB); The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE); The Landscape Institute (LI); The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA); The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); and The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

These six organisations collectively represent 350,000 members, who will now collaborate to deliver three core objectives to improve EDI across the industry over the next three years.

The first target is data collection — by the end of 2022, the organisations will agree on a set of data points on diversity to collect across the UK.

This will enable them to publish data on the diversity of membership in a consistent manner by April 2024, which aims to highlight the current state of EDI in the sector, identify gaps and inform targeted actions.

The second core objective, improving understanding of transition from education into employment, aims to uncover the challenges of recruiting and retaining a diverse graduate workforce.

Throughout 2023, groups of recently qualified students will consult on their experiences in the workforce alongside 50 employers with graduate programmes, in order to help improve collective understanding of retention rates and awarding gaps in education.

The third core objective is to improve EDI standards — to do so, the organisations will survey and report on the EDI CPD training they currently offer by November 2022 to identify gaps.

This aims to help create a core EDI curricular for the collective membership by February 2024.

The 45-point action plan lays out clear outcomes, target deadlines, required resources and responsibilities to ensure that the objectives are met by the member organisations.

Sue Morgan, LI chief executive, said: “We know there’s a severe skills shortage in the built environment sector, but the problem runs deeper: there’s also a marked lack of diversity.

“To transform the world for the better, we must understand and represent the interests and experiences of all the communities we serve.

“This cross-sector approach is exactly the sort of initiative we need to see to change things for the better.

“I am sure that with our joint resources and collective passion, our organisations will make this a success – and I hope that it will set a high benchmark for future collaboration too.”

ICE vice president Dr. Anusha Shah, added: “This action plan is our commitment to change — with data at its core, we will better understand the scale of the challenge, how to measure progress, and how to make interventions that benefit the industry now, and help the industry attract and retain diverse talent in the future.

“Collaborating on this plan, and sharing best practice across the industry, is a positive step in the right direction."

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