Diversity and Inclusion in Construction Becomes Priority for Construction Companies
Diversity and inclusion have become an increasingly important priority for the construction industry. The topic of diversity and inclusion has gained significant traction in the last few years and rightfully so. In the construction industry, minorities make up less than half of the total workforce. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, minorities account for only 41% of the construction industry overall, and of them, only 6% are Black. We are at a turning point and many opportunities exist to affect change and make impact.
Most construction firms realize that there is a strong need for more diversity in the construction industry, not just to improve representation and appear more diverse, but to attract top talent and help the industry keep growing. It is well-established that increased diversity at a company means better results for the company’s bottom line and culture. Having different perspectives and backgrounds means that companies can better understand a variety of customers and view problems and solutions differently than they have in the past. So, what can your construction firm do to improve diversity and inclusion in your organization?
Start at the Top
Leadership often sets the tone for the actions at a company. While grassroots efforts at the ground floor can make a difference, support at the top can accelerate this movement. Even once leadership is on board, change does not happen immediately. However, when everyone is on the same page from top to bottom, companies can begin to focus on initiatives that lead to lasting and long-term change.
One of the first steps to focus on for improving diversity and inclusion at your construction firm is representation. As President Biden stated in his speech following the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, “… it’s a powerful thing when people can see themselves in others.” When diversity is apparent even at a glance, it shows minority employees and clients that their voice matters and they are supported. This support can improve camaraderie and promote project success in the construction industry.
Construction Recruiters Can Play a Critical Role
Recruiting is a critical step toward improving diversity and inclusion at your construction firm. Most construction firms will have access to a much smaller and less diverse pool of candidates than a construction recruiter specializing in their industry. Once firms realize that they are focused on a small piece of the pie, it is essential that they take the appropriate steps to expand their reach and connect with as wide of an audience as possible; this often means working with a construction recruiter. Construction recruiters can help you get in contact with the best talent and an incredibly diverse talent pool. Furthermore, progress in diversity and inclusion efforts should be shared and celebrated consistently.
Making a focused effort to increase diversity at all levels will have a lasting positive impact. The benefits range from employee fulfillment and increased retention to better client service and team performance. As the mindset in construction continues to shift and diversity increases, the industry will continue to grow stronger and better equipped to serve all customers.
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