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Last edited 17 Oct 2022
Accelerating diversity key to delivering projects fit for end users
As Black History Month of October continues to honour the history of Black communities and champion the achievements made towards greater equality, APM speaks to Mac Alonge, Chief Executive of The Equal Group, about what more can be done to accelerate Black inclusion in the workplace and why doing so is important to projects.
“The key is awareness,” says Mac (pictured). “It’s important to be aware of the gaps we have, both internally and externally… who is in the room and who is making the decision, and to what extent your own internal project teams match the end users or the demographic that you are serving.”
“If there's no diversity within that team, you tend to find yourself talking to the same people or the same types of people.”
“HS2 is a good example of doing this well… They challenge themselves around the diversity of their own team, but definitely [also] from a supply chain perspective; the diversity and inclusion requirements that they place on their Tier 1 suppliers and ensuring that those requirements are cascaded down to Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers. This ensures that they've got full visibility of levels of diversity within their supply chain. It's great to see and it really encourages people to think.”
While a drive towards greater diversity and inclusion like this is important, Mac also highlights the importance of long-term, critical thinking when it comes to embedding equality, diversity and inclusion within organisations.
“[When that happens] we actually find that organisations end up recruiting people into quite toxic environments. If an organisation isn't geared towards the retention and progression of Black people, you go out and you convince a number of Black people to join the organisation. Then they find out that, actually, they're facing microaggressions or they're facing issues on a day-to-day basis. That can be more harmful to your brand and to your organisation over the long term.”
With huge numbers of large-scale infrastructure projects well under way – many as part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda – the importance of being aware of the overarching societal context in which projects operate is clear if they are to meet the needs of local communities.
Mac will be joining a panel including APM Chief Executive Prof Adam Boddison to discuss accelerating Black inclusion at an upcoming event in London. APM members can attend for free. If you’re interested in joining, you can find out more and book your space here.
This article appears on the APM news and blog site as 'Accelerating diversity key to delivering projects fit for end users' dated October 17, 2022.
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