Sustainability through Diversity

On the 14th october I presented the above pecha kucha to Be2Camp Be2campOxon event on Ada Lovelace Day, taking the perspective of a young Ada, looking to a career in construction, in sustainability, in IT, in BIM, and the challenges she may face. Not only a glass ceiling but perhaps a triple glazed ceiling.

Initial thinking was triggered by the excellent Nilofer Merchant article in TIME You Are the Industry. You Must Be the Change, pointing out to Satya Nadella, Microsoft that it is not good enough to call for change in the (IT) sector – but that those in power, like Satya Nadella, should affect change.

And so it is in the built environment, particularly construction, where it is no longer acceptable for industry leaders, industry groups and strategy authors to record the fact we have a gender and diversity problem – but time to do something about it and affect change.

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JUST: a social justice label for construction …

Taking built environment sustainability deeper into the responsibility agenda, the International Living Future Institute are launching (Oct 2013) a new and important transparency initiative for the built environment to sit along side the Living Building Challenge and Declare. Just will provide clients, specifiers and procurers with ‘a view of how participating organisations treat their employees and where they invest their profits’

Just will cover the important areas of gender and ethnic diversity, salary equity, gender pay equity, community involvement, responsible investing and more, taking it beyond other programmes in the built environment sector. (And arguably areas that the UK Considerate Constructors Scheme should be addressing?)

The Press Release from ILFI reads:

In today’s global economy, it’s difficult to know what your consumer dollars are really supporting. JUST gives you an insider’s view of how participating organisations treat their employees and where they invest their profits. JUST works seamlessly with the International Living Future Institute’s Declare™ materials label and the next iteration of the Living Building Challenge™ (Version 3.0 — coming spring 2014).

By providing participating companies with a clear, elegant and informative equity ‘nutrition-label’, JUST aims to transform the marketplace through transparency and open communication. It aligns with the Institute’s Declare™ materials label to provide a holistic picture of both the products a company produces and the human story behind those products.
To participate in this voluntary disclosure program, an organization must submit documentation that asks for in-depth information about twenty distinct aspects of workplace equity and justice.
We’ll be launching the JUST label and searchable database FALL 2013. Join us in this critical initiative!
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