The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has embarked on a laudable initiative, launching a free training course to advance diversity and inclusion within the construction sector globally. This move aims to address the persistent underrepresentation across various demographics and foster a more inclusive and equitable environment for built environment professionals.

Inclusive Learning for a Diverse Industry

Accessible via the Future Learn website, the course spans three weeks, requiring a manageable two hours of online study weekly. It meticulously explores the essentiality of diversity and inclusion, examines the unique challenges within the construction sector, and illuminates pathways towards impactful change.

Enriched with a diverse array of resources, including international articles and insightful video interviews with industry thought leaders, the course seeks to inspire and motivate. Each module encourages participants to engage in meaningful debates, catalysing critical thinking and fostering a collective sense of responsibility.

A Global Commitment to Change

Mark Harrison, Head of EDI Transformation at CIOB, highlighted the institute’s dedication to championing diversity and inclusivity. He remarked, “We are offering global access to this training resource without charge as evidence of our commitment to promoting a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive built environment sector.”

The industry’s global skills shortages underscore the imperative to cultivate a representative workforce, thereby expanding the available talent pool. With accessibility at its core, the course is open to all, extending beyond CIOB members, inviting every individual to contribute to shaping an inclusive industry.

Addressing Underrepresentation

Data from the Office for National Statistics reveals a stark gender disparity within the UK construction workforce – a mere 15 per cent are female, with a negligible 2 per cent present on-site. These figures are purportedly even lower globally. Additionally, representation of individuals from Black and Asian minority ethnic backgrounds and disabled people is severely limited, both groups constituting only six per cent of the workforce.

Bola Abisogun OBE, Chair of the DEI Committee at the Construction Industry Council, expressed enthusiastic support for this initiative, noting, “This launch is yet more evidence of the commitment by CIOB in its approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and I welcome it to help create a more welcoming and self-sustaining landscape for built environment professionals.”

Seizing the Opportunity

The course is freely accessible on Future Learn. While the course and its enriching content are available at no cost, Future Learn offers optional certificates and extended access for a fee.


CIOB’s pioneering initiative reflects a broader commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within the construction sector. By equipping built environment professionals with knowledge and insights, it aims to challenge established norms, diversify the talent pool, and create a more inclusive and equitable landscape. The industry stands at a crossroads, and through collective efforts and continuous learning, it can embrace a more diverse and inclusive future.