Launched at the BMF Annual Members’ Conference on the 21st of September, the CIC has been established by the chief executives of nine major product manufacturers and building suppliers, along with two trade bodies. These include leaders such as Baxi and Travis Perkins in addition to the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) and the National Merchant Buying Society (NMBS).
By joining the CIC, KCS says it has has firmly aligned itself with the coalition’s mission to foster collaboration and establish a network to share knowledge and resources across the sector and “standing in solidarity with other organisations, pushing for a more inclusive and fair construction industry.”
Disparities in representation have historically been a challenge in the construction industry. For example, recent studies show that only 15% of the sector are women, and only 6% are from ethnic minority backgrounds. The CIC aims to reshape this narrative and ensure that everyone, regardless of gender, race, disability, or background, is welcomed and represented in the industry.
James Mitchell, Managing Director of KCS in the UK and Ireland, said: “Inclusivity is not just an aspiration, it’s an imperative. We have led the way in embracing diversity, equality and inclusion within the business software and IT industry. Joining the CIC not only reaffirms our dedication to these principles, it allows us to help drive tangible and positive change within the construction industry, which we are proud to serve.”
James, also an advisor to the BMF board, recognises the importance of the construction industry in building a better future for Britain. He states: “KCS prides itself on being an inclusive and equal opportunities employer, so we know how important it is for all businesses to attract and develop a diverse talent pool.”
The CIC was launched alongside new research, which shows that out of over 2,000 adults, only one-third (36%) of British people would feel confident that their female family or friends would be safe and respected if they joined the construction industry.
Angela Rushforth, CIC Chair and Managing Director of Toolstation – a subsidiary of Travis Perkins, said: “There is no doubt that the future of our industry is at risk if we don’t create an environment where all our colleagues feel safe, empowered and confident. These are industry-wide challenges that require industry-wide solutions, which is why the CIC has been set up to improve equity, diversity and inclusion.
“We call on businesses across the sector – no matter how big or small – to join our coalition and commit to taking action in their organisations.”
James added: “As the construction sector evolves, we want KCS to be at the forefront. Our partnership with CIC reinforces our ethos and passion for an industry that thrives on the collective strength of all its members. At KCS, we’re committed to helping the construction industry be more representative of the communities it serves.”