Women in Construction Week
FIS, the representative body for the UK's finishes and interiors sector, has launched a Fairness, Inclusivity and Respect (FIR) Toolkit as its membership marks Women in Construction Week and International Women’s Day 2021.
The new Toolkit draws together a wide variety of tools and training available from across the construction sector making it easier for members to encourage equality, diversity and inclusion in their workforce. It identifies where legal responsibilities lie, but also helps to highlight and support companies in managing the pre-qualification process and ensuring that FIR processes can be core to their business.
Commenting on the launch of the toolkit, FIS CEO Iain McIlwee said: “The Toolkit is part of a renewed effort within FIS to support individual businesses, to highlight and celebrate diversity within the workforce and to ensure that the FIS network works for all individuals. It also guarantees that through better support and communication, we strive to ensure that the FIS community is open and supportive of all. The focus mirrors FIS core communication and recruitment campaign: ‘It’s about you’ using the strapline, ‘It’s about us’.”
FIS President and Operations Director at Tapper Interiors, Helen Tapper stated: “In my 37 years in the industry I have at times felt like a woman in a man’s world - that is no longer acceptable. Things have improved over the years, but we cannot kid ourselves that we are anywhere near where we need to be – old habits die hard and hold us back. With immigration policies likely to lead to short term labour issues, it has never been more important to renew our efforts – we are missing out on huge swathes of potential.”
"As FIS President, I committed to ensuring that we stepped up efforts in this area - we had the Women in Fit-out initiative, but we need to do more to encourage businesses to be better and help people looking for careers recognise that they have a home and opportunity in our sector regardless of gender, race, sexuality or belief. Central to the ‘It’s about us’ focus is this new toolkit which signposts tools and celebrates diversity within the FIS community.
"I know in our community there are positive role models and great stories that will inspire others, but we need to do more to tell them. Therefore I am reaching out to people in our community, particularly those in the early stages of their career who sometimes feel on the edge or in the minority to tell their story, to help us understand their struggles and to learn how we can better support them and use their stories to inspire others. Women in Construction Week is the ideal time to launch this work and draw on the theme of International Women’s day that we “Choose to Challenge” and start to encourage new habits."
Visit FIS Inclusivity Toolkit - FIS (thefis.org) to download the Toolkit.