Chief Executive response to Architects’ Journal Sexuality Attitudes Survey

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hief Executive of RIBA Harry Rich said:

“In March 2012, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) held the first ‘Out in Architecture’ event. This encouraged honest conversations and debate around sexual orientation and LGBT issues and triggered the AJ’s first survey on sexuality attitudes. Three years on the latest edition of this important survey makes for disappointing reading, and demonstrates that – for all that has been achieved – there is still much more to be done to change attitudes within our profession and most certainly across the wider construction industry.

“We are strongly committed to improving diversity in the profession to ensure it welcomes people whatever their sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, age or disability. The recent launch of the RIBA Role Models Programme, a commitment to promote diversity and inclusion and help inspire a wide talent pool in the construction industry, puts architects at the forefront of action. The RIBA Role Models’ next step is to engage the profession at all levels, regionally and nationally, to drive open debate and change across the industry. Jane Duncan, the RIBA’s President Elect, has championed this programme of work and made improving the diversity of the profession a core priority for her upcoming presidency. We are also working to nurture diverse talent through initiatives such as Fluid Mentoring in partnership with the CIC and by working with others such as Freehold, Stonewall and Pinsent Masons.

“But we recognise we must all do more. The RIBA provides guidance and support to members from diverse backgrounds on Architecture.com and will continue to do so to help to tackle the challenges and barriers that the survey demonstrate too often still exist. In particular, the difficulties experienced by LGBT colleagues when visiting construction sites shows the importance of the whole industry working together. There must be a collective responsibility at all levels and in every part of the country to confront the issues and deliver a solution that prioritises equality.”