EDI in action

24th Jul 2023

Supporting LGBTQ+ members and diverse communities beyond the rainbow.

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Words by Emma Carruthers, EDI Manager

We / CIHT recently spoke with Ramon Agudo-Porras, Principal Highways Engineer for Arup and regional Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) officer for CIHT West Midlands, who asked us a series of questions focussing on what CIHT are doing in the EDI space in terms of supporting LGBTQ+ members throughout the year.

1. What is CIHT doing in support of LGBTQ+ and diverse community members?

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Panel comprises of active members who support the implementation of our strategy through providing advice on progressing EDI through the lens of equity and intersectionality. This is not just in terms of all-important diverse representation within the sector, but also in terms of embedding EDI in all that we do, from professional standards, inclusive design and inclusive service delivery for the diverse communities that we serve.

We have recently updated our EDI Charter. We are encouraging signatory organisations to share examples of EDI in action and to join our EDI Charter Signatory Peer Support Network where organisations can share their relevant challenges and solution-focussed approaches.

We are learning about characteristics and experiences of our members, by encouraging members to update their membership profiles on their My CIHT account. Similarly, we offer members regular opportunities to let us know about their experiences, including responding to anonymised surveys.

We encourage wider member participation in all aspects of our governance and working to mitigate any perceived barriers to membership and professional qualifications. The more diverse our governance is the more representative we will be of diverse professionals and communities – transforming highways and transportation design and service delivery.

Our Routes to Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit is available for any organisation to access, to support employers recruit, retain and develop a diverse workforce.

We actively support visibility of diverse members– yet in order to avoid representation fatigue we also support visibility of proactive allies. EDI through a lens of equity and intersectionality is we feel, crucial to meaningful progress in the sector and the diverse communities that we serve.

2. Last month / June was Pride month – why did CIHT decide not to rainbow our logo during the month of June?

Pride month is a way of creating visual support for and celebration of LGBTQ+ members and communities. It is however important that we also support LGBTQ+ colleagues and communities with inclusive policies, processes and cultures – which can often be the most challenging yet meaningful work happening under the radar so to speak. ‘Rainbowing’ logos for one month and then removing it might feel tokenistic – although just a few decades ago things were a lot different and displaying a rainbowed logo or flag may have been considered progressive. Displaying a rainbow momentarily can feel like a fleeting acknowledgement of LGBTQ+ people who may not feel included, celebrated, affirmed and safe if it is not backed up by inclusive environments and practices.

3. How does CIHT support allyship?

CIHT support and role model genuine and proactive allyship in action – all year round. We encourage our members to undertake ongoing learning which they can apply not only within their workplace but through their professional practice, e.g., through our learning platform CIHT Learn, members can undertake Allyship learning. We encourage proactive allies to push for meaningful change at every level within CIHT’s membership and across the sector, and to lead on EDI in professional practice, to help shift the dial on EDI at pace.

4. Tell us more about CIHT’s EDI (Shifting the Dial) Strategy in action?

Last year, we launched our EDI Strategy (Shifting the Dial) which outlines five strategic priorities that CIHT will focus on over the next three years and these include:

  • Embedding EDI as integral to the vision and mission of CIHT;
  • Becoming recognised as the EDI leader in the sector, influencing culture, behaviour and EDI best practice with regard to inclusive design and placemaking;
  • Using diverse role models and best practice examples to change the perception of the sector and support an increase in representation across all areas of diversity;
  • Improving and increasing inclusive EDI education opportunities through CIHT;
  • Driving impact across the industry through facilitating collaboration with key partners, peers and SMEs to support sector-wide EDI progress.

The strategy was developed with the help of CIHT’s EDI panel and the Clear Company, (a provider of inclusive talent management, consultancy and online toolkits). The first steps have seen the strategy embedded ats the core of CIHT.

5. How can members find out more on CIHT’s approach to EDI?

Discover our dedicated EDI website page, read our EDI Strategy, find out about our newly refreshed EDI Charter, our EDI Toolkit and much more. We offer a wide-ranging programme of events, webinars and CIHT Learn modules.

We would encourage our members to join their regional / national committee or international group – we are recruiting local EDI Officers who are supporting progress in their area with the support of CIHT as their institution.

6. How can CIHT members get involved in support of progressing EDI in both their workplaces and in service provision of inclusive transport to diverse customers?

Encourage their workplace to sign up to our EDI Charter https://www.ciht.org.uk/about-us/about-ciht/equality-diversity-inclusion/equality-diversity-inclusion-charter/

Sign into your MyCIHT account to:

  • get involved in your regional /national CIHT committee or international group
  • access CIHT Learn EDI related modules
  • book onto events, webinars and more
  • help us understand our members in terms of diversity and experiences and update your member profile

Discover our dedicated EDI website page https://www.ciht.org.uk/about-us/about-ciht/equality-diversity-inclusion/

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