Build Together presented to senior management and directors recommendations how Homes England uses its position of power to take a lead role in trying to address LGBT issues within the construction industry. They have and are challenging inappropriate behaviour and language through the organisations external engagements, changing the way we procure to pay more emphasis to attitudes to EDI, changing the way we recruit so that we attract a more diverse pool of applicants, and continuing to ensure we lead by example with our own internal policies; Homes England are sending a clear message out to the industry that, if companies want to work with us, they have to share our values in this area.
The response back from senior managers was more than Build Together could have imagined. Not only did they wholeheartedly agree with what the network had said, they also decided that this piece of work was so important that it wasn’t something that should only be looked at as an aside to our day jobs. The Chair (Julie) has been given the exciting opportunity to spend two days a week dedicated to looking at ways Homes England can play an activist role in making the construction industry a better place to work for LGBT people, and any other minority group. Part of the work completed is that the Trans policy has been written, signed off, and now a live document within the organisation. This has taken an enormous amount of work and consultation both internally and externally. Nevertheless the determination of the network and the staff within it has made it happen.