Property, Engineering & Construction

Sector Overview

There are a variety of career possibilities within this sector, ranging from civil and building engineering, surveying and planning, through to property management and valuation. The sector lends itself to hands-on roles as well as more managerial and consultative positions, such as civil engineering, surveying, designing, planning, project management and negotiating sales.

There are several well-established LGBT networks in the sector such as Freehold, InterEngineering and #BuildingEquality, which bring people together from across the sector to run networking, awareness raising and career development events. They also march together in large numbers at Pride events across the UK.

The sector employs over eight million people in the UK and a skills shortage has led to increased efforts to reach a diverse range of people with opportunities in the sector. As part of this, many organisations are driving changes in attitudes, cultures and perceptions to create more welcoming places for LGBT people to work.

What staff in the sector told us
“The workplace culture in my organisation is inclusive of trans people” – 44% of LGBT employees said yes
“I would feel comfortable disclosing my sexual orientation to my colleagues” – 40% of LGB employees said yes
“Senior managers in my organisation demonstrate visible commitment to trans equality” – 39% of LGBT employees said yes
“If I was a victim of homophobic and biphobic bullying and harassment, I would feel confident in reporting it to my employer” – 76% of LGB employees said yes

2018 Workplace Equality Index statistics

94% of organisations have an LGBT employee network group
89% of organisations’ network groups collaborated with other internal network groups, for example their women’s network or black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) network.

In Focus

Property - Aneurin 2

Aneurin Redman-White, Graduate Engineer, Amey

How did you come to work in engineering?

I’ve been fascinated by engineering all my life – starting with train sets and construction toys. After A-levels I studied mechanical engineering at university, before starting as an asset engineer working on gas pipelines. Now I have a graduate role in railway infrastructure. I really like knowing that my work is making a material difference to people’s lives, including my own. There are several places around the country where I can point at a new station or railway upgrade and say: “I helped make that happen!”

Are you involved in the LGBT network at Amey?

I’m a member of Amey’s LGBT and Allies Network committee. We’re directly involved with the company’s inclusion strategy and have hundreds of members all over the country. The network events and publicity remind us we’re not alone, as well as who to contact for advice and support. It’s made a real difference to me and others.

As an LGBT person, what’s it like working in engineering?

Engineers are stereotyped as being conventional and, implicitly, straight – and it’s true that I am often the only openly LGBT+ person in the office! But being bi makes little difference for me at work, and my colleagues are generally very accepting. There’s also an ongoing
effort to raise the profile of LGBT+ engineers and I’ve connected with plenty of others through Amey’s LGBT and Allies Network, volunteer groups, and my trade union.

What advice would you give to an LGBT person thinking about a career in your sector?

Go for it! Engineering and construction has loads of opportunities. It may still have an old-fashioned image, but it’s woken up to the need for diversity and inclusion as standard practice, and there are growing numbers of LGBT+ engineers and organisations to support them.