DEI in Construction
Promoting diversity and inclusion in the construction industry goes beyond “doing the right thing.” Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts in the workplace positively impact company profitability in more ways than just financial. Being very intentional around DEI can impact companies positively by enhancing employee morale and productivity, expanding the talent pool, and creating an innovative and exploratory culture.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that gender diverse companies report a 41% increase in revenue over a fiscal year in comparison to companies with reduced gender diversity. As reports indicate, teams that are more diverse tend to be more creative, work harder, and are more innovative.
Additionally, construction companies that place DEI as a foundational rock in their culture are more likely to maintain top talent. This reduces employee turnover, while enhancing employee productivity and supporting overall success.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration estimates that the total cost of fatal and nonfatal injuries on construction sites adds up to about $13 billion annually. Promoting inclusion in the workplace is one way to mitigate this risk and build a safe and positive work environment.
Consistently developing and nurturing an inclusive workspace can be overwhelming at times, but it is necessary. Cultural factors can affect the ways different workers perceive each other, how they perceive safety and how they react to dangers on the job. An employer who understands these varying cultural differences and is able to improve the inclusion of the workplace, can build a safe job site.
Additionally, when inclusion is promoted and prioritized, employees are more likely to voice their concerns if they notice unsafe behavior. Pinpointing these issues early on can mitigate havoc down the road.
It’s no surprise homogenous teams produce homogeneous results. Investing in teams that bring diverse backgrounds and viewpoints, fosters innovation.
Why is this? Until 1972, sidewalks were inaccessible to the elderly and those with disabilities. In Berkeley, California, a group of individuals who were wheelchair-bound voiced their concerns to city planners. Their collaboration and innovation brought about the “curb cuts,” which now bring more safety and inclusivity benefits to more than just pedestrians with disabilities.
An intentional shift towards a more inclusive and diverse workforce can improve not only employee productivity and success, but also company culture, project innovation, and problem-solving solutions. Honor is deeply invested in promoting DEI not only internally, but throughout the entire industry.
Take a deeper dive into some tools and strategies that could help you make DEI a focus in your organization on the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) website.