With a decade long career spanning various industries and countries, our Social Value and Community Manager Waldemar Alvarez (Wally) champions diversity, inclusion and respect in every role he occupies. This Pride Month we spoke with Wally about his career journey, the current state of the industry and pillar two of our Social Equity Strategy: Diversity, Inclusion and Respect.

“I joined Multiplex in March 2021, so I’ve been in the construction industry for about 15 months. Before I joined Multiplex I had a different idea about how the construction industry would treat LGBTQ+ people. I am an openly gay Latin-American man, and I can honestly say I haven’t experienced discrimination of any kind in the UK.

However, my positive experience does not negate the fact that there are still people in the industry who feel unable to express their sexuality openly. That is why we need to keep educating our leaders, colleagues and workforce — so that no one is afraid to be themselves.

I do feel that Multiplex and the industry more broadly are going in the right direction. For example, a 2017 Construction News Survey showed that 54 % of LGBT+ respondents did not feel comfortable being open about their sexuality or gender on site. In 2016 it stood at 69%. Clearly there are improvements being made, but we still have a fair way to go. It is extremely important that we continue to call out discrimination when we see it, to continue transforming the culture of the industry for the better.

In the UK, and particularly in big cities like London, we are fortunate to live in a society that is multicultural, multilingual and multiracial. We are a melting pot of people from different upbringings, who were born in different places and therefore speak different languages, with different skin colours, that have different religious beliefs, or none at all — and of course, different sexual orientations and gender identities.  The important thing is that we may all be different, but we can still live, work and enjoy life together.

Multiplex prides itself on being an inclusive and progressive company. Which is why we launched our Social Equity Strategy in November 2021. It centres around four pillars, one of which focuses on Diversity, Inclusion and Respect. By 2030 we aim to have a demonstrably diverse workforce, including at senior leadership level, and provide more opportunities for the hardest to reach groups in our society.

Pride Month is about sending a message to everyone on our sites and in our offices: Multiplex stands with everyone. We believe in treating all people with respect and dignity, and we will not tolerate the mistreatment of any of our employees on the grounds of difference — whatever this difference might be. Please know this: at Multiplex, everyone is welcome, supported, safe and included.”