Embracing Change: The Journey from Constructing Equality to COBE

It’s been quieter than usual on our social media channels for the last eight years, but for good reason. Behind the scenes, we’ve been immersed in referral work, celebrating personal milestones, and laying the groundwork for an exciting future. Now, we’re ready to share some significant news, but first, let’s reflect on what we’ve achieved over the last 17 years.

A Legacy of Pioneering EDI in Construction

Constructing Equality Ltd began as the UK’s first construction-specific EDI consultancy in 2007, founded by Chrissi McCarthy, a former Site Engineer driven to make a difference. Since becoming a limited company in 2012, we’ve trained over 5,000 individuals from over 200 companies, providing courses on Fairness and Inclusion, EDI as a Tool, Women in STEM, and Implicit Bias. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with average delegate feedback scores of over 97% in usefulness, recommendation and delivery, confirming the impact and enjoyment our training brings.

We have conceived, designed, and developed a construction-specific EDI framework and piloted over 50 companies through it to overwhelmingly positive feedback. We have also created tens of strategies for various organisations, including Universities, Private businesses and the public sector. We are proud to say one of our most recent was hailed as best practice by NIHR.

Our efforts have not gone unnoticed. We were proud recipients of the Construction Marketing Award for Best Construction Blog in 2014 and Highly commended for a prestigious UoM MAD Award in 2021. Our work has helped clients achieve prestigious titles, such as Best Engineering Company three years in a row and best newcomer.

Personal elements

We’ve gained many friends and wonderful supporters who have helped us along our journey, far too many to list but please know evey like, cheer, recommendation and email has meant the world to us. As a micro business, there is always a lot to do, and to know you have our back helps us to keep on doing it – thank you.

We have also lost dear friends like Caroline Gee, whose memory continues to inspire us.

Our founder had a baby and took time to enjoy the wonders and oddities that parenting brings, acknowledging the luxury of doing so with kind and supportive clients.

A Decade of Dedication, Research, and Advocacy

Our research has led to a PhD, supported by incredible mentors and colleagues, and we’ve published papers in academic journals, contributing to the academic discourse on EDI.

We ran a successful EDI in construction newsletter for nearly ten years with over six thousand organic subscribers and 20% regular readership. We created an award-winning construction blog that provided information to thousands.

We have sat on so many boards, pushing for change and uptake of systemic embedded EDI. These include CIOB Stakeholder and External Communications board member, ARCOM committee, Committee member, CB/500 Procurement, committee member,  Image of industry subgroup: Construction Industrial StrategyCommittee member, Industry Leadership for Fairness Inclusion and Respect, board member,  CIC Diversity Panel, Interim Chair and Panel Member, Professional Conduct Committee, CIOB, Committee Member.

We organised the first construction presence at a Pride festival in the UK. We have felt proud to have been an ally to as many people as possible, always knowing allyship is a personal improvement process and hoping we helped more than we harmed. 

We’ve spoken at numerous prestigious events, from the House of Lords to the Women of the World Festival, sharing our insights and advocating for change. We have been involved in judging the Olympic Delivery Awards. More impactful for us, though, was every small community-driven event we were asked to speak at and warmly received by.

Transitioning Towards a Broader Horizon

The landscape of EDI is evolving, and so are we. In recent years, we’ve seen an increasing demand from higher education and the public sector for our research-backed, context-driven approach. This shift aligns perfectly with our founder’s PhD completion, prompting us to expand our focus beyond construction.

While we remain committed to our roots in the construction industry, our path forward lies in leading EDI technologies and strategies that can make a broader impact. With this vision in mind, we prepare for a significant change.

Introducing COBE: A New Chapter Begins

On February 7, 2024, Constructing Equality Ltd will rebrand as COBE. This new identity reflects our evolved mission and the pioneering work we aspire to continue. Tomorrow we’ll share more about our aims and objectives, culminating in unveiling our new brand identity and website.

This change is more than a new name; it’s a promise to our clients and the broader community that we will continue to push the boundaries of EDI, backed by rigorous research and a deep understanding of the contexts we operate.

Looking Forward with Anticipation

We’re grateful to the construction community and confident in the capable hands continuing to drive EDI within the industry. As we step into the future as COBE, we invite you to join us on this journey. Together, we can explore new possibilities and create environments where equality, diversity, and inclusion are not just goals but realities.

Here’s to new beginnings and the endless potential of what we can achieve together.