The construction industry has been making significant efforts toward combating racism and bias. Construction firms are making a coordinated effort that includes everyone from firm leadership to corporate policy makers and middle managers as well as laborers and contractors. There are many benefits to hiring a diverse workforce and fostering an inclusive culture. Here are some of the ways firms across the country are combating racism in construction.

Recognizing the Problem

Although many firms understand the importance of promoting diversity while combating racism, and equality-related policies are becoming more common in large organizations, the first step to stopping discrimination is acknowledging that it exists. Construction leadership continues to address the issue head on by taking a strong stance against hate speech and bullying on jobsites. Some firms are even offering rewards and investing more in security and surveillance equipment to root out the problem. 

Creating Inclusive Work Environments

Benjamin Franklin stated, “Well done is better than well said.” It’s important to have discussions and develop anti-racism workplace initiatives, but if you don’t follow through on investigating complaints and hold perpetrators accountable, then it actually becomes counterproductive. That’s why firms are focusing more on creating inclusive work environments. One way they are achieving this is through focusing on eliminating any bias in their hiring practices, and also by encouraging minorities to apply through their job descriptions, branding, and social media. Many are also partnering with construction recruiters to find the best superintendents and foremen that won’t stand for bullying or harassment.

Ongoing Training

Firms are dedicated now more than ever to understanding what racism is so they can provide effective solutions. And instead of only encouraging anti-bias training, a growing number of firms are mandating education programs to improve diversity in construction. The bystander intervention approach is quickly spreading across the industry as a preferred training method to prevent harassment. The AGC encourages firms to use their sample anti-racism tool talks to efficiently train employees. Contractors are appointing more people from minorities to executive leadership positions, so they have a range of experience to deal with racism. Some businesses are even offering employees anonymous channels to report incidents of racist behavior

Construction recruiters and hiring managers are challenged to reduce bias in hiring. Construction firms across the country are taking proactive steps in the right direction and working alongside policy makers to build a more equitable industry. 



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