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FREE ONLINE CONFERENCE: Wellbeing & Diversity in Construction

Friday, 19th June 2020 0900hrs – 1600hrs

We’re launching a series of new online conferences – bringing you everything you come to expect of our normal events – fantastic speakers, excellent panel discussions, presentations on future development projects, networking with attendees, exhibition area and more.

This online conference will focus on health, diversity and wellbeing in the construction and property industry.

Worker wellbeing in the construction industry has rarely been out of the headlines over the past few years – and rightly so.

The construction industry has the highest suicide rate of any other profession – whilst 400,000 days a year are lost in productivity due to work-related stress, depression and anxiety. And there are many challenges to overcome – from long hours, extended times working away from home, temporary and precarious nature of many projects, diversity challenges, the ‘macho culture’ and more have all contributed.

This online conference will look to break down stigmas, bring awareness to issues and challenges, and hear from those at the forefront of change – sharing details on what is being done successfully across the UK in many different sectors of the industry. A large focus in the past on Health & Safety has been on physical hazards – and now it’s now to focus on the wellbeing of our most important asset – the workforce.

Topics will focus on:

  • Wellbeing in the industry
  • Developing a health & wellbeing strategy
  • LGBTQ+ in construction
  • Diversity & inclusion in the industry
  • Flexible working – the lessons from Covid-19
  • Age in construction – attracting and retaining skills

Speakers for this event include:

Download Programme

Agenda and Programme:

09:00-10:00 Doors Open & Networking

Enjoy some networking time with those also attending the conference and visit the exhibitors. There will be a networking chatroom, opportunity to video chat with exhibitors, and more.

10:00-11:00 How to Develop a Health & Wellbeing Strategy

Developing a health and wellbeing strategy is incredibly complex – especially for the large organisations bringing forward multi-million/billion pound schemes where numerous firms and sub-contractors are also involved. We’ll hear in this session on the approach of some of the biggest UK developers.

Chair: Session Sponsor: (Available – click for details)

The Guinness Partnership; Liz Skelton, Director of Health & Safety

Mates in Mind; James Rudoni, Managing Director

Kier; Tracy Smith, Health & Wellbeing Ambassador

Space & Place; Christine Hartigan, Spa, Fitness and Wellness Design Consultant

11:00-11:30 Networking & Exhibition

During the break period you’re able to move into the online networking chatroom and make new connections with those in the industry, and check out the exhibitors in the exhibition hall – with the ability to video chat, view exhibitor documents, literature and more.

11:30-12:30 LGBTQ+ in Construction

Some of the UK’s leading activists and inspirational LGBTQ+ ambassadors working in the industry will join us for this discussion. An inclusive workplace can drive productivity by 30% and in this session we’ll hear about how firms are working to do just this – and the challenges which still need tackling.

Chair: Session Sponsor: (Available – click for details)

LGBT Construct; Christina Riley, Managing Director

Balfour Beatty; Amanda McKay, Quality Director Major Projects/Nuclear Quality Director

Constructing Rainbows; Sharon Slinger, Director

Jacobs; Luke Ives, Social Value and I&D Coordinator, People & Places Solutions, EMEA

12:30-13:00 Networking & Exhibition

During the break period you’re able to move into the online networking chatroom and make new connections with those in the industry, and check out the exhibitors in the exhibition hall – with the ability to video chat, view exhibitor documents, literature and more.

13:00-14:00 Flexible Working & Living – The Future of British Life?

The debate on flexible working and living – whether it be working hours/days, office vs home working – has been ongoing for a while but the current situation has created a big wave with the working environment unlikely to be the same again and our living needs altered. In this session we’ll discuss the lessons learnt and the changes and trends this could bring.

Chair: Session Sponsor: (Available – click for details)

Newforma; Clara Rettinger, Executive

Moda; James Blakey, Planning Director, Moda

Timewise Foundation; Angela Goldsmith, Consultant

Canary Wharf Group; Andy Haigh, Senior Sustainability Manager

14:00-14:30 Networking & Exhibition

During the break period you’re able to move into the online networking chatroom and make new connections with those in the industry, and check out the exhibitors in the exhibition hall – with the ability to video chat, view exhibitor documents, literature and more.

14:30-15:30 Talent in Construction – Developing Youth, Keeping Experience and Diversifying Gender

The industry currently faces big issues – a lack of gender diversity and older workers aging out of the workforce faster than new workers are replacing them. How do we attract more people into the industry, how can we retain talent for longer, what role do skills and training play?

Chair: Session Sponsor: (Available – click for details)

Real Estate Balance; Sue Brown, Managing Director

Diversecity Surveyors; Bola Abisogun OBE, Founder & Executive Director

Countryside; Marion Whitty, Head of Talent & Development

Black Professionals in Construction; Amos Simbo, Chairman

15:30-16:00 Networking, Exhibition & Close

During the break period you’re able to move into the online networking chatroom and make new connections with those in the industry, and check out the exhibitors in the exhibition hall – with the ability to video chat, view exhibitor documents, literature and more.

Download Programme

We have an excellent line-up of speakers who’ll be joining us for this event to share their expert knowledge. They include:

Balfour Beatty – Amanda McKay, Quality Director Major Projects/Nuclear Quality Director

Amanda McKay is an Out Trans Woman who came out to the world at the age of 49, working for Balfour Beatty as Quality Director for the Major Projects business.  As an out Bi Trans Woman and the most senior LGBT+ employee within Balfour Beatty, Amanda actively supports the LGBT+ community and works to demonstrate that Balfour Beatty is a diverse, inclusive and accepting employer. She is a Co-chair of the Gender Equality network and Chair for the LGBT+ & Allies network, and promotes both through public speaking, facilitating events and workshops. Amanda is a member of the executive board of Building Equality and a Trustee of the Chartered Quality Institute as well as being an active volunteer with a number of LGBT charities.

She regularly supports external organisations in their approaches to LGBT+ policy and employees working with the Balfour Beatty supply chain and clients to help establish their own approaches to LGBT+.

Diversecity Surveyors – Bola Abisogun OBE, Founder & Executive Director

Through the company Urbanis he set up in 2003 and the DiverseCity Surveyors group he founded in 2006 Bola’s passion for educating and training youth and promoting diversity in the construction sector really shines through. In fact, Bola was awarded an OBE for his services to young people and diversity in the construction industry in 2018 and he will explain more about what we need to do to attract more young and BAME talent to the industry.

The Guinness Partnership – Liz Skelton, Director of Health & Safety

Liz is the Director for Health and Safety for one of the largest affordable housing and care providers in the country. They own and manage more than 65,000 homes and provide housing and care services for 140,000 customers. They are a national charitable housing association working across England that also deliver care and support services across the country. Liz will give us an insight into Guinness’ response to the crisis and how it is catering to the health and wellbeing of its staff and residents in these challenging times.

Mates in Mind – James Rudoni, Managing Director

Mates in Mind is a mental wellbeing charity working in the property and construction sector. It has an ambitious goal – to have reached 75% of the construction industry by 2025. James will be informing us about their latest Wellbeing strategy which will look at physical and mental wellbeing during the current crisis.


Constructing Rainbows – Sharon Slinger, Director

Having worked in the construction and facilities management industries for nearly 20 years as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor for main contractors, Sharon has seen and experienced the many positives that built environment careers bring. She also noticed the lack of diversity within the industry, and as more and more research was produced demonstrating the business benefits of diverse organisations, it became obvious to her that we all need to be doing better. So in 2017, she set up Constructing Rainbows, to share her knowledge and experience more widely to help others improve their businesses, the wider industry and ultimately the bottom line.

LGBT Construct – Christina Riley, Managing Director

Christina was one of the founders of Building Equality which was set up to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ matters in the property and construction industry and creating LGBTQ+ inclusive working environments. Christina has spoken and chaired at many events on this and has over 25 years working in planning at the likes of Galliford Try, Kier, Balfour Beatty and now at Morgan Sindall.

Canary Wharf Group – Andy Haigh, Senior Sustainability Manager

In a time where flexible working has become part of the zeitgeist, we will find out about how one the UK’s most iconic developers is incorporating it into their projects.  Andy will take us through the future of working for the Canary Wharf Group.


MODA – James Blakey, Planning Director

Moda are to develop a massive £260m private rental and later living scheme in Hove, their first on the South Coast. Of the total planned homes, 564 will be for private rent and 260 for later living. There will also be 50,000 sq ft of office and co-working space to foster emerging businesses/SMEs, five communal roof terraces and several open spaces. James will give more intel on this scheme and how to get involved.

James Blakey Moda

Newforma – Clara Rettinger, Executive

With over 15 years within the (digital) construction space, Newforma has supported over 2000 design and construction companies globally, including Stantec, WSP, Foster & Partners, Cundall, AHMM and many more on their digital journey.

We will hear from one of their experts on how flexible working looks likely to be the future in the industry.


Jacobs – Luke Ives, Social Value and I&D Coordinator, People & Places Solutions, EMEA

Luke has over 6 years’ experience working within construction, engineering and the built environment with Jacobs and Balfour Beatty. He is also the Chair of Building Equality Greater Manchester and a member of the Executive Board. Through this role he spearheaded the Building Equality LGBT+ Inclusion Toolbox Talk and poster campaign, which has been delivered to site operatives and office workers across the UK. Luke has also implemented a series of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion regional industry events, that bring together the whole Built Environment to discuss LGBT+ topics, such as Trans Awareness in business.

Real Estate Balance – Sue Brown, Managing Director

One of the most passionate voices combating gender imbalance across real estate, Sue is a hugely experienced property professional who is a well known name in our sector. Having been one of the driving forces behind MIPIM and spent time delivering complex projects for London First, Sue will set out how Real Estate Balance are leading the charge on diversification.

Timewise Foundation – Angela Goldsmith, Consultant

Timewise have teamed up with some of the construction sector’s biggest names to research, design and pilot new approaches that could herald a revolution in working practices across construction. Angela will reveal more details about  the schemes and how the future of work in the property and construction sectors could look.



Kier – Tracy Smith, Health & Wellbeing Ambassador

We will hear from Tracy about the award winning wellbeing programme Kier has been implementing over the past few years. Tracy has over 12 years experience working on wellbeing strategies at Kier and previously at Amey.


Countryside – Marion Whitty, Head of Talent & Development

Marion heads up the talent division at Countryside – one of the top housing developers in the UK. Boasting an award winning graduate programme, we will hear how Countryside attracts, develops and retains its talent and what the future holds for attracting talent in post pandemic Britain.



Black Professionals in Construction – Amos Simbo, Chairman

More information to follow.

Space & Place – Christine Hartigan, Spa, Fitness & Wellness Design Consultant

Christine-Alice has a great passion for Health & Wellbeing! This passion which has led to a career ‘working in Wellness.’  Christine-Alice works full time in Architecture; as a project leader for Spa and Wellness. SPACE & PLACE have a great desire to work with others who share a common goal ‘to create healthier communities’.


Our online conferences will merge our face-to-face conferences with a virtual platform – providing networking opportunities, exceptional panel discussions and debates, speaker presentations and an exhibition hall.

Here’s a little overview of what to expect:

You’ll receive unique log-in details to join our online event via computer or phone – and you’ll be greeted with an easy navigation tool. You’ll be able to navigate to:

Main Stage

Where our ‘Programme’ will take place with excellent speakers and content. You’ll be able to get involved, asking questions and taking part in live polls.

Networking Area

Just like a real conference you’ll be able to meet and connect with new people in our forum. You can directly request to chat with someone or you can enter our ‘speed networking’ area to meet numerous new people within the industry. Get your elevator pitch ready!

Sponsor / Exhibitor Area

Meet our partners and sponsors – view what they’re all about, video chat with them and download their literature and product information.


Tickets are not currently available for this event.


Friday, 19th June 2020

0900hrs – 1600hrs


View our ticket T&Cs.