Mainstreaming equality in construction: the case for organisational justice

Despite over 20 years of initiatives, research, and agendas the UK construction sector has failed to embed equality into business priorities and approaches; with both women and minority groups remaining under represented and unfairly treated in construction trades and the professions. Literature in this area shows low levels of retention amongst minority groups, high levels of discrimination and key talent from across the population finding the sector unappealing due to its macho image and the lack of diversity. We posit that, before equality can be realised in organisations, the majority of employees must perceive a base level of fairness. To understand how this can be achieved, a review of Organisational Justice is presented; a theoretical perspective which can explain how to encourage co-operation across the workforce. In exploring this we consider how the perceived focus on equality with respect to pre-existing outgroups works against group differential theory and, therefore, question whether the co-operation from the in-group must be necessary for any initiative to be successful.