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March 2012

Tuesday 28 February

Constructing Equality


CITB Construction Skills

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Hello

Suggs is marching against racism and homophobia. It's Madness gone politically correct.

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So, its good news all round from the brand spanking new offices of Constructing Equality where this month we welcome our new full time business manager, Matt, who will be helping us help you with your equality needs.

We are also starting on an exciting new research project involving Loughborough University, Construction Skills and Vinci looking at how we can measure the benefit of diversity within the construction sector.

If your considering employment you might want to think about getting in touch as we are looking to add to the team in the form of associates, so if you have spent over five years working in industry and have an interest in our work, do let us know.

Things are also looking good for the sector with a new strategic fairness inclusion and respect group meeting at the end of the month which aims to empower industry to create its own change.
So some positive steps forward and its only February, who knows what the rest of the year will bring.

Happy Building

Chrissi

************NEWS*************

New strategic group to determine future of equality and Diversity in the Construction Industry

Following on from the work of the equality and human rights led, construction diversity leadership forum a new strategic group for industry has been formed and will be coordinated by Construction Skills with Judy Lowe  (deputy chair of the construction skills board)  in the position of chair.


The group will sit above a number of operational groups tasked with implementing the actions which derive from the main group, the idea is to borrow from the methods that were used to embed health and safety into the sector. The first meeting will be held on the 22nd of March.


Constructing Equality Managing Director Chrissi McCarthy has been asked to join the group so we look forward to updating you on its progress.

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AJ editor Christine Murray takes on Women’s Hour

Following last month’s edition devoted to women in Architecture AJ editor Christine Murray took to BBC’s women’s hour to talk about the issues raised. It’s important to understand that some comments were edited out due to time (such as mention of the female past – Ruth Reed and Present - Angela Brady presidents of RIBA). The video is only made available for a short time by the BBC so our apologies if you can’t access the link.

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Race report finds agencies a barrier to equality

In February 2012, Race for Opportunity published ‘Race and Recruitment: exposing the barriers’, looking at how recruitment agencies and employers deal with job seekers from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Key findings of the research are:

  • In the past 12 months 29% of BAME candidates were offered a job compared to 44% of white candidates when going through recruitment agencies
  • In the past 12 months 57% of BAME applicants were invited to interviews through a recruitment agency, compared to 73% of white candidates
  • In the past 12 months, when applying to directly to employer, outcomes were much more equal, with 29% BAME applicants and 29% white applicants securing jobs

This is despite BAME job seekers being on average more qualified than their white counterparts:

  • 28% of BAME respondents had a post-graduate qualification, compared to 15% white respondents
  • 31% of BAME respondents had a degree, compared to 22% white respondents

Race and Recruitment identifies the barriers BAME job seekers face and Race for Opportunity has developed factsheets for employers, recruitment agents and job seekers for equal recruitment of BAME candidates.

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Constructing Equality welcomes new Business Manager Matt Ridgeway.

Having had many years experience within sales, Matt has also managed several small companies, successfully creating sustained growth and increasing both turnover and profitability. Most recently, he has spent three years within the Buildings Insurance industry as a Senior Technical Advisor until he was offered a post as Operations Manager by a reactive maintenance and insurance reinstatement business based in Liverpool.

After another three years of managing the daily running of that very busy business, he has now accepted the position of Business Manager at Constructing Equality. He has had firsthand experience of the issues that we are working to overcome and is committed to helping the industry change as a whole. Matt is very excited about the future of Constructing Equality and will be your first point of contact in the new office so feel free to drop him a welcome hello!

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EHRC monitoring and enforcement work on the equality duty

If you work for a public body or are subcontracted or funded by a public body you are required by law to meet the requirement of the Equality Duties. This means built environment organisations who fall into this bracket may be asked to submit information for publishing under the requirements of the specific duties.

Do note that you are only required to meet the duties if the public body has made you aware of them so check your contracts especially as from February 2012, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) will be assessing the information published by relevant public authorities in England (and non devolved public authorities in Scotland and Wales) as part of its monitoring and enforcement work on the equality duty.

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Blog - How do I find out which companies have good maternity packages and after care?

A reader from the UK has asked us; 

"I am currently working at a Construction Consultancy firm based in England. I find I am doing a lot of traveling and my company only offers the minimum statutory maternity pay.

In the next few years I don't plan to have a child at all, but in the event that I do, do you know how I would go about finding out which firms are flexible working friendly and/or offer better maternity leave benefits? This is obviously a question I do not want to ask during interview with other companies (if this ever comes about) so I really wanted your advice if possible."

Read our response on the Constructing Equality blog

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Advertising standards authority finds DIY store ad offensive

The ASA upheld a complaint regarding a poster ad, for a DIY store, was viewed on 7 November 2011.  It included the text "Mems, Always HAMMERING Down Prices" along with an image of a woman wearing a bra, denim hot pants, a tool belt and a hard hat.  She was holding a hammer and pulled at the front of her shorts with her other hand.


Although she was holding a hammer and wearing items related to DIY, ASA considered a sexually provocative image of a woman bore no relation to the product being advertised and that the ad therefore objectified the woman by portraying her as a sexual object.  ASA considered the ad was overtly sexual and, because it objectified women, was also sexist.   ASA therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and that it was irresponsible for such an image to appear in an untargeted medium. 

The ad must not appear again in its current form.  ASA told Mems DIY to ensure future marketing communications were prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and society and that, particularly in an untargeted medium, they did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Thanks to the ever brilliant PR guru Liz Male for bringing this to our attention via twitter.

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House Of Commons RETENTION OF SKILLS AND CONDITIONS IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

Whilst not strictly related to E&D this early day motion from the House of Commons is important when we consider respect and treatment of the workforce it says.


“That this House recognises the need to retain skilled workers in the construction industry; notes with concern that several major employers in the construction industry are considering withdrawing from national agreements on required skills and training in plumbing, heating and electrical works; further notes with concern that eight major employers within the industry are attempting to force skilled craftsmen onto new contracts, with reduced terms and conditions of employment; believes that these contracts will reduce training requirements with a potentially disastrous effect on site/project health and safety; further notes with alarm that the withdrawal from national agreements on required skills could see qualification requirements go down from NVQ Level 3 to NVQ Level 2; further believes this would allow employers to pay workers less on the grounds that they are less skilled; and calls on the Government to hold urgent talks with construction industry stakeholders to discuss the retention of skills in the sector”.

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Americas 1st black female licensed architect dies

Norma Merrick Sklarek, the Americas first female African American licensed architect, has died in Los Angeles at 85.

Sklarek worked on projects that included the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and a variety of Southern California structures, including Terminal 1 at Los Angeles International Airport, the Pacific Design Center, San Bernardino City Hall and the Leo Baech Temple.

Son David Merrick Fairweather tells the Los Angeles Times that his mother died of heart failure on Monday at her Pacific Palisades home.

Sklarek passed the New York state exam in 1954 to become the first black woman to earn an architect's license. In 1962, she was the first black woman to get a California license and she was the first to be elected an American Institute of Architects fellow.

Read full LA times article

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Constructing Equality Have Moved!

Constructing Equality have now relocated to new modern offices in Central Liverpool.

Please feel free to call in for a chat and a cup of coffee!

54 St James St.
Liverpool.
L1 0AB.

(0151) 7068132

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*********RESOURCES**********

Launch of the Disabled/Deaf People’s Organisations Legal Network

The DDPOs Legal Network aims to bring together DDPOs and lawyers to work together raising understanding of the legal system, legislation, case law and policy that relates to the quality of life, rights and inclusion of deaf and disabled people.  The Network will create a forum for disseminating legal information of strategic importance.  Through the Network both lawyers and DDPOs will be able to share their experiences and identify individual challenges and relevant evidence to strengthen existing cases.

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LGBT History Month 2012

February was Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans month and you can find out what resources are available to help you support your staff on their site.

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Graduate Talent Pool

Graduate Talent Pool is a new service, designed to help match the skills businesses require with those offered by new and recent graduates. On their website you can advertise internship opportunities for free, directly to graduates. You can also register up to 10 sifting questions so that only the most suitable graduates apply for your vacancies.

Graduates can apply provided they graduated in 2008, 2009, 2010 or 2011 from a UK university with at least a degree or foundation degree.

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***********JOBS***********

Constructing Equality NEEDS YOU!!

We are looking for a network of associates nationwide to help deliver training and consultation across the following three sectors: Sub-Contractors, Main Contractors and Housing Associations.

We want to hear from you if you have around five years of industry experience within any of the above organisations; you dont need to have any previous equality knowledge just a belief in respect for people within construction.

We will be rolling out the training programme from July 2012 onwards. Initially the role will be on a part time, self employed basis, but we will be looking to directly employ people from at the end of the year. Contact us either via email or telephone Matt on 0151 7068132  for further details. 

Please note we are looking for people from built environment backgrounds not human resources or equality.

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ATKINS Technical Leader (Bristol)

Job  : Engineers - Mechanical
Industry  : Water / Watershed Management
Primary Location
: United Kingdom-ENG-South West : Full Time
 
Job Summary

Atkins is the largest engineering and design consultancy in the UK, the largest multidisciplinary consultancy in Europe and one of the largest design firms in the world.

Our Water Operations team is one of the largest in the UK and with clients including high-profile utility companies, local authorities and independent businesses.

An additional Technical Leader is required to work with the MEP Operations Director and two incumbent Technical Leaders, with the primary objective of supporting the management of the MEP business stream. The role will be based in Bristol and will be responsible for regional management of the offices in the western half of the country in association with local team leaders.

More information and requirements 

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***TV OPPORTUNITIES***

TV company seeks women in hands-on materials fabrication, systems/prototype design or practical engineering

Renegade Pictures, a London based television production company, is casting for a new Discovery science and engineering series and are looking for new talent.

The series revolves around producing prototypes which aim to solve real world problems. Our hosts will be expected to be hands on, researching, designing, fabricating, testing and trialling.

"We are not looking for engineers / designers who work primarily or only using software packages," says Nick, "as the challenges and solutions will need practical fabrication skills."

Each team of two will have a budget for parts and services. They’ll work closely with the production team and industry experts to achieve the best possible solutions. Episodes might involve improving surfer’s safety in a wipe-out, a better bear proof bin, smarter ways to stop joyriders, a wildfire proof fire truck, flood defence for an average home, a theft proof bike etc. Big, fun, visual challenges which need skilled and lateral thinkers, prepared to get stuck in.

For more information email Nick Watson

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*********SURVEY**************

Why do few women in the UK choose to study Civil Engineering?

Survey - Why do few women in the UK choose to study Civil Engineering?
The University of Greenwich are carrying out a study looking at why relatively few women in the UK choose to study Civil Engineering or undertake a career in this field.
Clik here to participate in the survey
Please send your survey responses to Gary Burt

***FUNDING & GRANTS****

AJ is seeking entrants to three new honours in support of women in architecture, including the prestigious Jane Drew Prize

The AJ is pleased to announce three new honours in support of women in architecture, including the return of the prestigious Jane Drew Prize.

1. THE JANE DREW PRIZE                                                                Both men and women are eligible, as are non-architects influencing the wider architectural industry, eg politicians, clients and planners.

2. WOMAN ARCHITECT OF THE YEAR
Design award open to those working in the UK or for a practice headquartered in the UK. Judges will be looking for excellence in design, thought leadership and a role model for aspiring architects.

3. EMERGING WOMAN ARCHITECT OF THE YEAR
Design award open to those working in the UK or for a practice headquartered in the UK. Judges will be looking for excellence in design, thought leadership and a bright future ahead. 

Applicants can nominate themselves or someone else. A supporting list of signatures may also be included. Find out more

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How far can your imagination travel…..? Apply now for the RIBA travelling scholarships.

Applications are now open for the RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship 2012

Students from all RIBA-validated schools worldwide are invited to apply for this £6,000 scholarship, which funds international research on topics and in locations of the student's choosing. The topic of the research should, however, relate to the survival of our cities and towns.

Each school with RIBA-validated degree courses is invited to submit one application for the scholarship. Each school chooses its own method of selecting its student.
The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 26 March.
Further information about how to apply and the eligibility criteria

LKE Ozolins PhD Studentship

The RIBA LKE Ozolins Studentship is awarded to a student who wishes to pursue, continue, or complete a higher degree in research (PhD/MPhil or MRes). Applicants should be registered for the degree in a department in a UK university validated by the RIBA. Read more

Other funding for students

RIBA  has a comprehensive list of external organisations that offer funding and bursaries for students in the built environment. See RIBAs list 

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***********EVENTS*********

AJ Women in Arch luncheon

On the 20th April Architects journal is having a Women in Architecture luncheon at the Langham hotel across from the BBC.

WISH North West Networking Event

Join the WISH North West Networking Event – Thursday 15th March 2012

Learn about the role and purpose of WISH North West group, and the results of our recent survey and how these will be used in planning our future events.

Refreshments will be provided and you will of course have the opportunity to network with our key speaker, board and other colleagues working across the housing sector in the North West region.

Date: Thursday 15th March 2012 Time: 4.15 – 6pm Venue: City West Housing, Centenary House - 4th floor 1 Centenary Way Eccles M50 1RF

If you would like any further information on this event or to reserve your place please email Kerry Whittle

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Constructing Equality, 10 Derby Street, Prescot, Liverpool, L34 3LG  t 07748126232  w www.constructingequality.co.uk

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