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UK Construction Week bans "inappropriate" outfits after showgirl backlash

UK Construction Week is introducing new equality guidelines following the outcry against the use of promotional models wearing Vegas showgirl outfits at last year's event.

Media 10, a publisher and the organiser of the annual trade show, has released a code of conduct for exhibitors "setting the standard" for equality and diversity in the roofing industry.

The move comes after Dezeen revealed a backlash on social media about the use of showgirl-styled models at a Vegas-themed roofing stand at UKCW in October 2017.

"Consider whether you have asked staff to do something that could be deemed to objectify them as men or women as this is strictly forbidden and could result in closure of your stand," reads the code.

"The consequences of getting it wrong with the proliferation of social media means that a situation can escalate very quickly with limited ability to stop it."

Code of conduct calls for "appropriate" clothing to be worn

While the code of conduct does not completely ban the use of promotional models, it does request that clothing worn on-stand be "appropriate" for a business event.

It also asks exhibitors to pay close attention to the gender, age and ethnicity of staff working on their stand, whether it reflects the company's diversity and to "be prepared to explain why not".

The guidance also comes with a warning to roofing exhibitors that, if they do not comply, they "may" not be permitted to open their stand.

Move comes after Dezeen revealed social-media outcry

Media 10 issued an apology following the 2017 edition of UKCW, after the stand created for event sponsor Easy-Trim – a manufacturer of roofing ventilation and dry fix products – was called out by London

Festival of Architecture director Tamsie Thomson and Denton Corker Marshall partner Angela Dapper.

As reported by Dezeen, they took to Twitter to complain about how the use of promotional models to sell roofing products, which they claimed revealed the lack of diversity in the construction industry.

UKCW had named the Vegas-themed stand its Best in Show at the time.

The BBC and other national news outlets reported the story, as part of the wider reevaluation about the use of promotional models at business and sports events.

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