Future of construction Campaign

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) - CIOB's Commitment

Mark Harrison

Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Transformation

Last updated: 16th July 2021

The business case for a commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is well established. Diverse and inclusive organisations have been shown to be more creative, productive, profitable and more responsive to diverse customer needs. Ambitious employers are recognising the need to attract and retain a diverse and talented pool of built environment professionals for the best chance of success in global markets. 

Yet Construction remains a male-dominated industry across the globe. In the UK, women make up around 15% of the construction workforce, with 2% of those working on-site. This figure is even less for those from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background who only make up 6% of the workforce. This stark under-representation points to one obvious solution to the current and on-going skills shortage in the Construction sector.

That is why the CIOB is committed to promoting EDI in the sector. We understand that EDI is not a ‘zero sum game’. Promoting fair and equitable access to opportunities and inclusive practices will contribute to a stronger economy to everyone’s benefit, across and beyond the construction industry.  

Our EDI Action Plan (2021-2022)

To help meet our commitment, we have adopted our first EDI Action Plan for a more representative sector and an inclusive and accessible built environment that improves the lives of all its users.

This action plan is a framework to deliver change, setting out activities to embed EDI across all CIOB functions for the period June 2021 to December 2022. The measures will include providing visible leadership on a national and international basis; recruiting a more diverse membership and better understanding their needs whilst ensuring that our educational materials and the events and conferences we host are inclusive and accessible. 

These initial activities will align with the life of the current CIOB Corporate Plan and lay the foundations for more ambitious, aspirational EDI objectives that will be an intrinsic part of the CIOB Vision for 2030.

Download our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan

We are supporters of Building People as part of our commitment to promoting EDI in the sector. Building People is an organisation that promotes EDI in the Built Environment sector by providing a platform for networking and linking diverse candidates with employers. 


Find out more about Building People

Building an Inclusive Future

Building an Inclusive Future is a film made by CIOB members in our London and Hemel Hub. It describes their experiences and what diversity and inclusion in construction means to them.


Building an Inclusive Future is a film made by CIOB members in our London and Hemel Hub. It describes their experiences and what diversity and inclusion in construction means to them.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: The Case for Change

"Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) goes beyond being a tick box, buzz word or contractual obligation, but how many see it beyond this? Though the sector has a long way to go, it is important that from the offset we are educated about the true meaning behind EDI."


Take a look at our blog by CIOB Chartered Member, Anjali Pindoria on the topic of EDI.


Read the blog

Our EDI Policy Position

We have recently updated our position on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. 


Find out more

The CIOB Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Advisory Panel

The CIOB is chartered to promote and advance the science and practice of building and construction for the benefit of society, through education, research and engagement with the industry and the public. 

It is critical that the CIOB uses its position as the leading voice for construction professionals to promote an equitable, diverse and inclusive industry. The CIOB position is clear: improving diversity and inclusion at all levels within the sector will unlock a more productive and inclusive industry, better able to meet the needs of society, employees and clients. 

The Role of the Panel

The CIOB Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Advisory Panel provides a forum for members with expertise and interest in EDI to promote the agenda across the built environment sector. 

The Panel works with the CIOB and its Head of EDI Transformation, to better understand the barriers to particular groups and individuals, and to identify opportunities for improvement and innovation within the sector.

The Aims of the Panel

  • To be a forum for discussion and consultation, working with the CIOB and suggesting improvements to policy and practice in the sector
  • To suggest positive steps that the CIOB could take to improve opportunities for members who face disadvantage and discrimination 
  • Provide a forum for networking and peer support including initiatives such as social functions and appropriate member-led events 
  • Work with representatives from CIOB Regional Hubs and Tomorrow’s Leaders, utilising the expertise of members to influence its approach to EDI 
  • Support the Head of EDI in promoting inclusive practices through consultation on CIOB’s strategies, policies and practice
  • Identify opportunities to promote the CIOB’s commitment to EDI 

The EDI Advisory Panel meets formally on a quarterly basis, and for the time being ‘virtually’ to ensure that panel members will be able to participate despite travel limitations or restrictions on movement due to the pandemic.  

Chris Keast FCIOB: Chair of the CIOB EDI Advisory Panel 

Chris Keast is current Chair of the CIOB Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Panel and is a Chartered Building Engineer, Fellow of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, member of ICOMOS, member of the Institute of Leadership and Management and Fellow of The Higher Education Academy.

Following a successful career in the public sector as a Building Surveyor, Chris moved into education heading up the Postgraduate and Degree Apprenticeship Courses in Property Management and Development at Nottingham Trent University. He has also been appointed to the University Shadow Executive Team which has the remit of ensuring that University policy and direction is fully inclusive. Similarly, as a trade union official, Chris has for over twenty years ceaselessly campaigned on EDI issues, seeking to give a voice to members and empowering them to achieve fair outcomes, often against seemingly overwhelming odds.

Living with a life-limiting industrial disease and having suffered further life-changing injuries in an accident in 2006, Chris is acutely aware that much of the built environment remains inaccessible for people with disabilities and additional needs. This area of work has become the focus of his current research and a driver for his work with the CIOB.

Chris was a founder member of the Disabled Employees Network at NTU, a member of NADSN, an LGBTQ+ ally and a Judge for The Inspire Awards, Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion in UK Construction, Engineering and Housing. 

Have your say

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