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Caplan, A S and Gilham, J (2005) Included against the odds: failure and success among minority ethnic built-environment professionals in Britain. Construction Management and Economics, 23(10), 1007-15.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Construction; built environment; minority ethnic; management; diversity
- ISBN/ISSN: 0144-6193
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/01446190500310700
Despite domination of the built environment professions (BEPs) by white men, there exists within it a small core of minority ethnic (ME) professionals who are becoming well organized and articulate within their professions. Based on a foundation of research conducted for the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and more recent work for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) by the Centre for Ethnic Minority Studies (CEMS, Royal Holloway, University of London), this paper describes and analyses the factors that have enabled this group to enter the industry and, in some cases, to prosper. Implicit in the analysis is a critique of those structural and cultural factors that have prevented others from following their career aims, and of the failure of the industry more generally to be inclusive and diversify its workforce. The discussion draws upon interviews with ME professionals, students, lecturers and employers working in Britain in construction, engineering, architecture, surveying, planning and urban and landscape design to exemplify the key areas of access, support, development and progression in the industry, and to present a clear and rounded picture of what it takes to succeed as a ME professional in the BEPs today.