Arup joined the Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme last month. Contractors Kier and Lend Lease are already members of the scheme.
Chris Edwards, client manager at Stonewall and a former employee of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, said he was keen to get more construction, architecture, engineering, design and consultancy firms in the scheme. He said: “I think there is some momentum growing and Arup being so public about joining sends a really strong signal.”
Alan Belfield, group board director and diversity champion at Arup, said: “Arup is firmly committed to providing a workplace that supports diversity. Our membership of Stonewall’s programme demonstrates our intentions to respect, welcome and support LGBT professionals in our business. We are now looking forward to contributing to Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index which will enable us to measure our extensive and on-going efforts to create an inclusive workplace – testing us against the best and challenging ourselves to foster a working environment that allows people to feel at ease, be themselves and reach their full potential.”
Companies on the programme, which costs £2,000 a year, get consultancy advice from the charity on topics such as developing equality policies and staff surveys, as well as free seminars and advertising on the scheme's job website.
There are no construction firms in Stonewall's top 100 employers’ list drawn from the top ranked firms in its workplace equality index, which is based on company equality policies and responses to a staff survey. Arup plans to join the index so in future could become the first construction company to feature in the top 100.
Last year law firm Taylor Wessing and property consultancy Tuffin Ferraby Taylor launched Freehold, a networking group for gay, lesbian and bisexual people working in construction and property with the backing of Stonewall.