Led by Alice Ullathorne, the IHBC’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Working Group is the first to progress under the constitutional framework represented by the new Articles of Association, and invites interested IHBC members to a collaborative ‘Tea Break’ on 5 August, at 10.30am.
.. joint informal network of people from under-represented groups or those protected by the Equality Act…
IHBC Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group lead Alice Ullathorne writes:
… The IHBC and CIfA have started looking at how we might collaborate on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work and we want to explore whether there would be any interest in setting up a joint informal network of people from under-represented groups or those protected by the Equality Act. We’d like to invite people to a Tea Break on Thursday 5 August at 10.30 to discuss how we might take Equality, Diversity and Inclusion forward through the professional bodies. Hope you can make it. If you’re interested please contact me at Alice.Ullathorne@nottinghamcity.gov.uk
For the past 2 years I have been working together with the IHBC and other members to consider the diversity of the built heritage sector and what we might do to promote opportunities to all communities through the work that the IHBC does.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion have become very current issues within the last year with inequalities highlighted by movements such as Black Lives Matter. Within the same period Historic England have published a Strategy for Diversity, Inclusion and Equality to promote diversity through their own work and support the rest of the sector to do the same. This builds on excellent practice demonstrated by large bodies such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the National Trust over a number of years.
…A wider pool of talent available to the Industry from under-represented groups…
Anecdotally many of us have accepted for a number of years that the heritage sector is not reflective of the diversity of the communities it serves. The Equality and Human Rights Commission reported in 2011 that increased diversity of workforce in the construction industry would bring:
- Efficiency savings through improved staff retention
- A wider pool of talent available to the Industry from under-represented groups
- A more diverse supply chain with better support for small business
- Improved on-site working relationships based on respect for everyone’s differences.
A survey conducted by Hays in 2019 revealed 78 per cent of black workers in the construction industry claim to have experienced restrictions in their career progression due to their race or other “protected” factors, such as age or sexuality.
… Improved on-site working relationships based on respect for everyone’s differences…
So as the IHBC what can we do to promote diversity in the heritage sector? A 10-point plan has been written with recommendations of what can be done to promote diversity as the start of a conversation within the IHBC. Some measures are relatively easily achieved whereas others will require more resources. One of the first steps is the creation of IHBC Equality Diversity and Inclusion Subgroup to develop an action plan for promoting diversity. So far we have 4 members of a group but would welcome further members reflecting a diversity of perspectives. If you’re interested please contact me at Alice.Ullathorne@nottinghamcity.gov.uk
The first substantive action of the subgroup is to feature diverse role models on the IHBC website. Seeing positive role models from a diversity of communities and backgrounds sends a strong message that Heritage Sector is for everyone. As they say you can’t be what you can’t see. If you come from a protected group and would like to be featured as a role model please contact me at Alice.Ullathorne@nottinghamcity.gov.uk
Finally, I’d like to promote an article on Diversity in the built environment sector – Designing Buildings Wiki on the Designing Buildings Wiki sponsored by IHBC. The article gives an introduction to diversity in the built environment developed from an event by the BRE Trust and Penn State University. The article is an academic introduction to the theme of diversity in the built environment but also develop many themes on the subject.
See more on the IHBC