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|Title: ||A critical evaluation of diversity and equality in the UK construction sector|
|Authors: ||Pepper, Christine|
|Issue Date: ||2005|
|Publisher: ||© Christine Pepper|
|Abstract: ||Historically, recruitment by the UK construction industry has been homogeneous,
with a marked propensity for organisations to attract, recruit and select white nondisabled
men. This makes construction the most white and male-dominated of all
major industrial sectors. Previous research on women's and ethnic minorities'
experiences within construction have shown that the industry reproduces a white
male culture in which women and ethnic minorities experience marginalisation,
discrimination, disempowerment, prejudice and 'glass ceilings' to their career
progression. This, in turn, leads to vertical segregation within construction firms.
Despite the under representation and underachievement of women, ethnic
minorities and disabled people within the industry, little is known of the views and
experiences of key construction industry stakeholders on workforce diversity and
the potential impact that this has on promoting the diversity and equality agenda.
Accordingly, this research makes a unique contribution by investigating diversity
and equality from the perspective of employers, professional bodies, training
organisations and industry policy forums to provide a more holistic understanding
of why the industry has failed to diversify its workforce.
The findings of the research develop existing theoretical perspectives on the
underrepresentation and underachievement of women and ethnic minorities in
the industry through an analysis of the cultural and institutional processes which
shape the position of women and ethnic minorities.
To achieve this, a primarily qualitative methodology was employed for the
research in which stakeholder attitudes to workforce diversity were explored
using in-depth semi structured interviews. The research also critically evaluated
the industry's previous attempts to diversify its workforce using desk-top and
case study research methods. Collectively, these investigations revealed the
necessary challenges for policy makers to overcome in order to promote positive
change within the industry. These included the existence of mutually reinforcing
industry structures, customs and practices which systematically reflect and
produce inequalities for underrepresented groups. Together, they undermine the
delivery of diversity and equality policies and practices. On the basis of the research findings a framework of integrated diversity policy
initiatives were developed. These address the need for both structural and
cultural change within the sector and behavioural compliance in addition to
attitudinal and cultural change. The efficacy of these measures was validated
through a high level workshop in which leading industrialists and policy
specialists debated and refined the key outcomes of the work. The resulting
policy framework has been adopted by the Institution of Civil Engineers as their
diversity and equality guidance document.|
|Description: ||A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.|
|Appears in Collections:||PhD Theses (Civil and Building Engineering)|
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