Welcome to Construction Inclusion Week, where the objective is to build awareness of the need to improve DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) in the construction industry by providing content and resources. The intent is to foster conversations that create alignment and to change the industry’s culture to be truly inclusive. Quite the undertaking—but an admirable one at that.
Last year was the inaugural event with participation from construction companies across the country. Many held jobsite and online events, educational meetings, goal-setting sessions, and social media campaigns—all aimed at adopting best practices for hiring more women and minority employers, as well as more diverse suppliers.
This year’s Construction Inclusion Week is October 17-21 and is open to firms of all sizes. Roughly two-thousand firms are registered to participate in this second, annual industry-wide event. Contractors as well as architectural firms, owner/client firms, higher learning institutions, governmental contracting entities, and municipalities throughout the country have registered. 76.8% of registered firms are majority-owned entities, while 23.2% of registered firms hold a diverse supplier certification.
Content is centered on five daily themes:
- Commitment and Accountability (Monday, October 17)
- Belonging (Tuesday, October 18)
- Supplier Diversity (Wednesday, October 19)
- Workplace Culture (Thursday, October 20)
- Community Engagement (Friday, October 21)
Content for 2022 includes curriculum resources, facilitator tools, trainings, and discussion guides. By visiting www.constructioninclusionweek.com, firms can access free materials and resources to bring awareness to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Construction Inclusion Week was envisioned by DPR Construction, Mortenson, Turner Construction Co., McCarthy Building Companies, Clark Construction Group, and Gilbane Building Co., as an industry-wide effort to enhance inclusion throughout all levels including subcontractors, trade partners, and suppliers. George Pfeffer, DPR Construction, and Dan Johnson, Mortenson, serve as co-chairs for Construction Inclusion Week 2022.
Consider what DPR is doing. The construction company’s DEI efforts include mandatory unconscious bias training and the broadening scope of recruitment to HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), just to name a few. Meanwhile, Mortenson is doing intentional recruiting and hiring efforts, creating opportunities to find mentors and build interpersonal relationships across cultures and levels of seniority, and developing industry forums to address systemic racism.
It seems change is happening too. As one example, the city of Boston is asking developers to submit minority and women workforce participation goals on private projects.
For those who want to make change within their own organization consider the ACC (Assn. of Corporate Counsel) Foundation DEI Maturity Model, which has been design for use by legal departments around the world to benchmark maturity efforts regarding DEI across a wide range of functional areas that have been proven relevant for optimization of DEI impact and results.
This first iteration of the DEI Maturity Model outlines clear descriptions for three levels of maturity for each DEI function—early, intermediate, and advanced—providing leaders with a critical snapshot of where their department compares against the maturity continuum and offering a roadmap of how to achieve next-level goals.
While this is a start, there is still much work to be done to improve DEI in the construction industry. What do you believe needs to happen next?
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