City Building constructs success at UK awards

City Building plumbing apprentice Phoebe Ali
City Building plumbing apprentice Phoebe Ali

Glasgow-based construction firm City Building has been crowned Most Inspiring UK employer by awards established to recognise diversity and inclusion in the built environment.

The Inspire Awards are open to construction, engineering and housing organisations. They aim to encourage greater diversity and inclusion across the building industry which has traditionally been male dominated and is facing challenges including an ageing workforce and a skills crisis.

City Building, the only Scottish organisation to win an award at the 2019 event, was shortlisted against major global companies BAM Nutall and Morson International as well as the Staffordshire-based Housing Plus Group.

Dr Graham Paterson said: “It is highly rewarding to be recognised for our commitment to supporting a diverse and inclusive workforce, especially when we had such strong competition from very distinguished global businesses.

“Improving diversity is key to achieving equality and fairness in the workplace, but it also makes good business sense. Ambitious, growing organisations require input from a wide range of people to encourage innovation and deliver succession plans.”

Construction has been identified by the Scottish Government as one of the priority sectors to reduce inequalities, barriers to employment and discrimination. Across the UK, around 11% of the construction workforce is female with only 2% of female workers are employed in craft trade roles.

Last year City Building commissioned a landmark report to assist its diversity drive which found that 49% of our employees come from geographical areas identified as being the three most deprived in Scotland.

This analysis also found that it employed 16 times more females (32%) in craft trade roles compared with the industry average while its senior management team is 50% female.

Among the steps it has taken to improve diversity are providing financial and operational support for employees to progress their careers. At present 300 staff are undertaking higher education and university courses with assistance from the business.

It is also a significant provider of employment for disabled people in Glasgow with 10% of its workforce reporting a disability.

At City Building’s manufacturing division RSBi, which is Europe’s largest and most successful supported employer, over half of its 250 staff have a disability ranging from hearing and vision impairment to learning disabilities.

Where necessary the organisation adapts its processes, plant and machinery to help employees progress and flourish in their roles. Specialist software is available for staff with visual impairments and BSL lessons are available to help workers communicate with colleagues who have hearing impairments.

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