NEWSLETTER • Monday 5th November 2012

When I die I want my remains to go to my iPod, my iPhone and my laptop. I want to be left to my own devices.

Talking of the internet not only is our new newsletter here in its full glory, but our website is also up and running so please do take a look and let us know what you think.

Whilst there has been heartening news this month in that we are now out of a double dip recession, I don’t think you need me to tell you we are far from the home straight. Among other government organisations facing cutbacks the EHRC seems to be facing some challenging times and UCATT has needed to put together a campaign to support black listed workers.

On the up though WTS managed to not only get the inspirational Mckinsey to present at their latest event but have allowed us to share the slides.

Finally a favour, we have compiled some FAQs for the site, we would appreciate if you could look at them via our blog and let us know if there’s anything you feel is missing.

Happy Building, Chrissi

For your chance to win a £20 M&S gift voucher just answer the following question and email

There are 20 sector skills councils in the UK, Name the three tasked with promoting skills for each of the following sectors?

  • General Building
  • Mechanical and Electrical works
  • Facilities Management

At long last Sandi Rhys Jones has joined us on twitter. You can follow her on


Her Constructive Women blog is also worth the visit.

We also welcome new followers at our official account @constructingeq 



Black and Muslim members lose equalities commission roles

This story in the Guardian has us a little concerned especially after recent reports that due to restructuring there are no non white managers at the Equality and Human Rights Commission. It’s hard to see how we can be sure that we are being supportive of diversity if we are not being representative

Ministers are facing criticism after the removal of the only black and Muslim members of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission from their posts, heightening fears that the coalition will place less emphasis on fighting discrimination.

Leading commissioners Simon Woolley and Lady Meral Hussein-Ece have discovered that their contracts as commissioners will not be renewed when they expire in December. Though both were invited to reapply for further terms by Lynne Featherstone, the equalities minister, before the reshuffle, neither has been shortlisted or called for interview.

There has been no explanation, but both Woolley and Hussein-Ece have raised concerns within the commission and outside about the effect of swingeing budget cuts being imposed on the statutory body and the effect of downsizing on the minorities who work there. Woolley and Hussein-Ece, vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on race and community, were appointed commissioners three years ago on two-day-a-week contracts.

Continue reading

Lobbying campaign for blacklisted workers

Construction union Ucatt has launched a postcard lobbying campaign in its campaign to support blacklisted workers.

The postcards are being sent to Ucatt members who are asked to send them to their local MP. The postcard requests that MPs sign Steve Rotheram’s early day motion, EDM 609, on Blacklisted Workers, to support a public inquiry into the blacklisting scandal and for blacklisting to become a criminal offence.

Steve Murphy, general secretary of Ucatt, said: “We are absolutely committed to winning justice for every single blacklist victim. Those involved in blacklisting workers have avoided justice and their actions must be fully exposed. The postcard campaign is the latest step in the battle to win justice for blacklisted victims.”

Ucatt has printed 10,000 postcards, which are being distributed via branches and shop stewards.

Mr Rotheram’s EDM calls for: a public inquiry into the blacklisting scandal; the Information Commissioners Office to inform all individuals who appear on blacklists; companies guilty of blacklisting to be barred from tendering for public sector contracts; strengthening of existing blacklisting regulations and for blacklisting to become a criminal offence.

Mr Murphy added: “There is growing anger among construction workers, as each new revelation shows the true extent of the blacklisting scandal which is possibly going to be much greater and affect far more construction workers than ever imagined. Workers want and deserve answers for themselves and for their colleagues.”

To view the recent Early Day Motion on the blacklisted workers situation which is starting to gain traction in Parliament, please visit the Parliament website. 

Credit to the Construction Index for this article and DeHavilland for the source. 

To view the latest CIOB DeHavilland report for the week beginning 22/10/12 please visit the DeHavilland website.

Baroness O’Neill confirmed as the new Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Culture Secretary announces head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Leading academic Baroness Onora O’Neill of Bengarve has today been appointed chair of the EHRC.

Baroness O’Neill, a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords and Honorary Professor at the University of Cambridge, will lead the organisation through a period of change as it is streamlined to provide better value for money and a stronger focus on core functions.

Culture Secretary and Equalities Minister Maria Miller made the appointment following a competitive recruitment process and a pre-appointment scrutiny hearing by Parliament's Joint Committee of Human Rights earlier this week which concluded she was a suitable candidate.

“Baroness O’Neill is an inspiring woman with the skills needed to provide the strong leadership necessary to steer the EHRC through this crucial period,” Ms Miller said.
“I look forward to seeing her progress as the EHRC is transformed into a valued and respected national institution that will continue to help deliver a free and fair society for everyone.”
Baroness O’Neill said she was “delighted” to take up the role. 

The Government announced a number of reforms to the EHRC earlier this year, including the appointment of a new chair and a smaller board with stronger business and governance skills.

Read more 

Builder Honoured after 50 Years of FMB Membership

A builder from Cheltenham has been awarded honorary membership of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in recognition of the commitment he has shown to the FMB and the construction industry.

Trevor Hole of L & H Surveying Services entered the construction industry over 55 years ago. During his teenage years he earned pocket money by working for a small builder in his school holidays and at weekends. He eventually joined a Cardiff based contractor as a trainee estimator/surveyor, during which time he qualified as an Associate Member of the Institution of Chartered Surveyors (ARICS) in 1970.

In 1971 Hole joined the Cheltenham based builders Little & Thompson, who were active members of the FMB. As a consequence, he became an active member of the Gloucestershire branch and within his first year as a branch member, he was appointed to the South West Regional Council.

Hole was appointed Regional President in 1993 and served on the FMB governance body, the National Council, between 2002-2009.

Hole retired from FMB governance in 2009 however he was given the tribute of honorary membership in recognition of all the time and dedication he has devoted to the FMB during his involvement of more than 50 years in the building industry.

To read more on this article please visit the FMB website.


Women Matter: Making the breakthrough

Since 2007, McKinsey has been researching the business case for increasing the number of women in senior management roles.

Their latest report, Women Matter 2012: Making the breakthrough, examines the gender-diversity programs of 235 large European companies. The report investigates what initiatives companies are taking, what is working well or less well, and why.

The research found that most companies are now taking gender diversity issues extremely seriously, devoting real resources to redressing the gender imbalance. But many companies also expressed frustration that their efforts do not always create the expected impact.

To view the full report please visit the McKinsey website.

Open Doors Weekend 9th and 10th November

A weekend of Open Door events inviting members of the public to visit working construction sites is being organised for the autumn by the UK Contractors Group (UKCG), the Industry Training Board and Sector Skills Council, CITB-ConstructionSkills, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and the Considerate Constructors Scheme.

The collaborative initiative is the first of its kind for the sector and intends to raise the profile of the industry, challenge stereotypes and encourage greater engagement with the public and local communities to attract talent into the industry.

The events will provide a unique opportunity for members of the public to witness first-hand the scale and complexity of major construction developments and also demonstrate an industry-wide commitment to welcoming a wider, more diverse range of talent into the sector.

Open Door's weekend will take place on 9 - 10 November 2012 (Friday: 9am - 4pm and Saturday: 9am - 1pm).

To find out more about this weekend of events please visit the Open Doors website. 


IET unveils 2012 Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award finalists

The Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) has unveiled the finalists for the 2012 Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards, taking place in December, honouring and celebrating those working in the engineering and technology sector.

Roma Agrawal (WSP Group), Yewande Akinola (ARUP), Jessica Jones (LGS Ltd), Philippa Riddoch (BAE Systems) and Charlotte Tingley (BAE Systems) have been named as those up for the three prestigious awards at IET London: Savoy Place on December 6th.

Television presenter and former gymnast, Gabby Logan, will be presenting the awards, which are sponsored by BP, National Grid and Ofcom among others.

Ms Logan explained "I'm honoured and really excited to be asked to present this year's event. I fully support efforts that encourage young women to take jobs in traditionally male-dominated industries, such as engineering and technology, and to show them support early in their careers."

The event is free to attend and you can register your interest on The Institution of Engineering and Technology website.

Credit to Women in Technology for this article.

The Building Awards back for another year to mark 170 years of Building Magazine

The Building Awards 2013 will be back on the 18 April 2013, once again at the Grosvenor House Hotel.  Established by Building magazine, the Building Awards recognise the industry’s top performers and rewards best practice and innovation throughout the construction sector.

This year will be a double celebration – celebrating the winners who have excelled across the construction industry this year, along with celebrating Building Magazine’s 170th year!

Those interested in subitting an entry into this prestigious award ceremony can do so by visiting the Building Awards website. 

Deadline for entries is Wednesday 9th January 2013.

Sponsors of The Duke of Gloucester's Young Achievers Scheme 2013 are revealed

Construction Youth Trust, with the support of HRH The Duke of Gloucester, is delighted to announce the sponsors for The Duke of Gloucester's Young Achievers Scheme.

Now in its second year, The Duke of Gloucester's Young Achievers Scheme is an opportunity for exceptional young professionals to be commended and celebrated for their achievements.

The principle sponsors of the event are as follows:

Gold sponsors:      Byrne Group and ConstructionSkills

Silver sponsors:    AECOM, John Rowan & Partners, and KPMG

Entries for the Duke of Gloucester's Young Achievers Scheme have been pouring in and now, due to popular demand, the deadline for entries is being extended to 16th November.  So, if you are proud of your achievements or want to shout about one of your colleagues, get started on the entry now. 

Details on the how to enter can be found at the Construction Youth Trust website. 

Kate Cooksey of ICE awarded Karen Burt Award for engineering achievements

Kate Cooksey has been announced as the winner of Women's Engineering Society's (WES) 2012 Karen Burt Award for being the best newly qualified chartered engineer.

It's not the first piece of recognition for the civil engineering graduate, who has previously been in the 2012 Management Today 35 Women Under 35 list and a finalist in the 2008 NEC Graduate Awards and Women of the Future Awards.

She is now a tunnelling engineering expert at construction firm Morgan Sindall, working on the Crossrail project in London.

Karen Burt was a tireless campaigner for the improvement in recruitment and retention of women in science and engineering, before she tragically passed away following a stroke.

Ms Cooksey was presented with the award at the Ada Lovelace Live! event on October 16th, where a whole host of people celebrated the work of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at an evening of entertainment.

Credit to Women in Technology for this article.



Government response to consultation on employer liability for harassment

In October 2012, the Government published its response to the consultation on employer liability for harassment of employees by third parties.

The response confirms the Government’s intention to repeal the measure.

The Executive summary states (Page 4):

Of the 80 responses to this consultation, 16 (20%) agreed our proposal for repeal and 57 (71%) opposed it. Responses which agreed with the proposals came mostly from individual public, private and not-for profit sector employers and business organisations, although two individuals responded on their own behalf.

All business representative organisations supported repeal. Responses which disagreed with our proposal were mainly on behalf of public sector employers, unions and equality lobby groups. The small number of responses from legal organisations and bodies with legal expertise discussed legal arguments about the compatibility of our proposal with compliance with the relevant European Directives, and the extent to which the possible alternative avenues of legal redress might apply. Some legal respondents had represented either employees or employers in situations where accusations of harassment by a third party had been made. Invariably however, these were either settled without reaching an employment tribunal, or withdrawn.

Very few of the responses, whether from those opposed to or those in favour of repeal, offered quantifiable evidence or specific evidence based on actual situations and outcomes to support their views. It is clear that the legislation in its existing form is widely considered unsatisfactory, both by those favouring repeal (who want it to be scrapped) and those opposing repeal (who would like it to be strengthened and clarified). Several responses misunderstood the concept of third party harassment, and a larger number misunderstood its intention, which is to make the employer liable in specific situations, and not as a general way of encouraging employers to treat their employees better.

Taken as a whole, this response has not persuaded the Government that there is a need to re-think the proposals on which it consulted in May.

The changes will be made through amendments to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.



Free repairs and maintenance courses for women

One Vision Housing are working with the North West Training Council to run a free repairs and maintenance course for women.

The course will help women to build their skills in plastering, painting and decorating, tiling and much more. The course will run over 10 weeks and we can provide free childcare onsite and transport to the course on Dunnings Bridge Road.

The course also includes a free toolkit to carry for your DIY at home with an opportunity to win £100 of vouchers to spend on your home.

There is also a separate course planned for men too!

If you’re interested, please visit the One Vision Housing website or  contact Jayne Goss at North West Training Council on 0151 523 0808.

Diversity and Transport – Birmingham Networking Event

Men and women from across the transport sector in the West Midlands and beyond gathered in Birmingham on 18 September to discuss the issue of diversity in transport.

The keynote speaker at the event, organised by the Highways Agency with Women’s Transportation Seminar and sponsored by a range of organisations, was Wieteke Graven, the co-lead for McKinsey & Co’s ‘Women Matter’, who flew in especially from Amsterdam to present their latest findings.

Introduced as a controversial topic, Wieteke made clear from the outset that McKinsey aren’t interested in diversity because it is somehow ‘politically correct’ but because it is about achieving better corporate performance.

Their research draws some striking conclusions:

  • Those organisations that have more than 30 per cent women on their boards perform better financially than those organisations that have less.
  • There are nine key leadership behaviours that underpin organisational health (which correlates to performance/profitability) and there is a difference between men and women in relation to the behaviours that they tend to apply more frequently:

To read more on this please visit the McKinsey website. Alternatively, click here to view the McKinsey presentation slides. 


Maintenance Management Opportunities

Willmott Dixon Group currently have nationwide opportunities available. Candidates will have exceptional leadership qualities aligned to the Willmott Dixon family values. They will demonstrate ‘all round’ capabilities in commercial management, relationship skills, operational excellence and the ability to create a branch environment with a strong sense of ownership and team goal of achieving exceptional performance for our customers.

In this role successful candidates will be responsible for the delivery of a planned maintenance and responsive repairs contract within one of our branches. Your duties also include the delivery of agreed strategic plans and budgets, and to have overall accountability for the performance of this branch.

To find out more about this exciting opportunity please visit the Wilmott Dixon website.



Roots Research Centre/1990 Trust: Equality Act Toolkit

The Equality Act Toolkit is a resource for the BAME Community Sector, produced by the Roots Research Centre, in collaboration with the 1990 Trust.

The toolkit is designed to help voluntary and community organisations use the Equality Act 2010 to challenge discrimination and promote equality. This toolkit primarily focuses on race equality, but it also provides guidance on tackling discrimination and promoting equality for all who face discrimination.

To help you to access what is most relevant for you, a summary of key information is provided at the beginning of each part of this toolkit. The tools and resources include:

  • an overview of the Equality Act (part two)
  • information on key provisions included in the Act, especially those that can be used by those working with BAME communities to hold public bodies to account (part three);
  • suggestions about how to challenge public bodies and how BAME organisations, and those working with BAME communities, might wish to hold public bodies to account (part four)
  • information on other key anti-discrimination and equality related provisions (part five)
  • detailed information (the boxes, tables and appendices)

You can download the toolkit at the 1990 Trust website, as well as 'Understanding key terms and the Equality Act 2010'; a supplementary resource which includes definitions relevant to the general legal framework set out in the Act.

Credit to the Equality and Diversity Forum for this article.


Showcasing Disability Best Practice

A new publication which highlights the practical steps local employers are taking to boost employment opportunities for disabled people was launched at Stormont today.

“Showcasing Disability Best Practice” gives practical examples of how employers are breaking down barriers, both in recruitment and in retention, of employees with disabilities.

Speaking at the publication’s launch, the Equality Commission’s Chief Commissioner Michael Wardlow said, “We work with thousands of employers each year providing expert advice on complying with legislation. This publication highlights examples of innovation and excellence from employers who have gone beyond simple compliance.

“People with disabilities are entitled to be full and equal participants in every aspect of society and we need to ensure that barriers which prevent that, whether physical or in attitudes and practices, are removed. We hope employers across Northern Ireland will be inspired to follow these examples to enable disabled people realise their full potential and build more inclusive workplaces.”

To read more on this article please visit the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland website. 

Credit to the Equality and Diversity Forum for this article.

Newsletter Quiz...

For your chance to win a £20 M&S gift voucher just answer the following question and email with your answer:

There are 20 sector skills councils in the UK, name the three tasked with promoting skills for each of the following sectors?

  • General Building
  • Mechanical and Electrical works
  • Facilities Management

Thanks to everyone who entered last month’s competition, the winner was Sue Smith of UCreative.