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Sexism, Racism & Homophobia ‘common within construction’

SEXIST, racist, homophobic and ageist language is regularly used in the construction industry, according to a new online survey by CITB.
Over 500 on- and off-site construction workers were questioned, revealing that 61% had heard sexist language at work in the past year, while 14% said they heard it once a week or more.
A third of women reported having offensive language directed at them at work in the past 12 months, but only 4% reported it to a manager. In addition, 12% of women admitted to having their confidence knocked by offensive language used in the industry, while 4% said they had left a job because of it.
More than half (53%) of respondents had heard racist language at work in the past 12 months and 14% claimed to have heard racist language at least once a week. Most of those surveyed described the tone of offensive language as banter’; however, 17% of incidents were described as patronising and 6% as direct insults.
Almost half (48%) of workers had heard homophobic language in the past year, while 13% had heard it at least once a week.
Meanwhile 51% reported hearing ageist language in the past 12 months, with 11% claiming to hear it once a week or more.
CITB director of communications and change Nicola Thompson was reported by Construction News saying that the survey highlighted the challenge that faces the construction industry as it looks to address diversity issues.
‘If people feel unhappy coming to work because of the language and behaviours they face, it risks leading to the exclusion of talented people from the industry,’ she said. ‘We need to take action.’
She added that the CITB will look to address diversity issues through its Be Fair Framework, which launches next month (June).
‘Developed with industry, its aim is to help create more inclusive working environments, both in office and on sites, making sure workers are treated fairly and with respect.’
Despite the results, only 37% of those surveyed said they thought construction had a worse problem with offensive language than other industries.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at