Constructing Excellence North East has announced the return of the ‘All In’ Conference with the theme of Inspire Inclusion.

The conference brings delegates together from across the industry, all with different experiences and backgrounds, to deliver better business outcomes.

It is being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Newcastle, on 12 March and is sponsored by RED Engineering and Hydrock. The day will be led by a number of key speakers.

Leading the welcome will be Nik Turner, executive director of communities and customer service, believe housing and chair of the Constructing Excellence North East People Group, followed by Victoria Short, CEO, Randstad, who will discuss Unlocking Growth: The Business Imperative of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). Victoria, will explore how organisations that embrace ED&I are more likely to succeed, bringing to life the advantages through lived experience and research.

Michael Nicholas MBE, Northumbrian Water Group, will then take to the stage.

After nearly 30 years in the UK Fire Service and the trade union movement, working primarily in EDI, Michael was awarded an MBE in 2017.

In 2020, he joined Northumbrian Water Group, as its first diversity and inclusion (D&I) manager. The company launched its inaugural D&I strategy in the autumn of 2022, which includes recruitment targets for gender, ethnicity and disability.

Paula McMahon, structures engineer, Sir Robert McAlpine, will explore the topic of ‘Is it ok to say. An interactive talk, which will consider comments that could be perceived ‘over the line’ and with delegates given the chance to put forward their own thoughts and comments for scrutiny.

Following a break to network, Nicola Little, CEO, Celebrate Difference Ltd, will speak on the topic of Neurodiversity, sharing her own ADHD diagnosis. Launched in 2021, Celebrate Difference Ltd is a social enterprise, solely focused on raising the profile of people with ADHD and celebrating the many strengths they offer.

The day will conclude with a panel discussion chaired by Nik Turner. Panellists are Peter Weller, on behalf of Building Equality; Phil Redman, Mott MacDonald and Viviana Cabrera, Hydrock.

Catriona Lingwood, chief executive, CENE, said: “At a time when there is a shortage of high-quality people coming into the sector and when analysis tells us we will need to recruit tens of thousands of new recruits to meet future demand, it is clear that employers need to explore every avenue to ensure they have a workforce that will enable them to meet future needs.

“An effective EDI strategy will not only provide access to a wider pool of recruits but research has proven that EDI teams outperform homogenous teams on many levels. Our conference theme Inspire Inclusion will demonstrate to delegates that the full benefits of EDI are within their grasp.”