The US construction industry has a diversity problem. Currently, just 6% of construction workers are Black. And Asians make up a mere 2%. Women account for 10.9%… even though they are approximately half of all the employed people in the country. Importantly, Hispanic or Latino workers — which is a measure of ethnicity and not race — represent 30% of the construction workforce.
While it’s unclear where the roots of this lack of representation lie, there’s an important opportunity for Building Product Brands to join a growing community of construction executives… who are helping to level the playing field.
Construction Inclusion Week is an initiative that brings together contractors and suppliers. Together, these construction-related brands are taking a stand to build awareness — and to improve diversity and inclusion — in our entire industry.
This past week, October 17th through the 21st involved 2345 separate firms and brands (representing 200,000 construction workers)… double the number that participated in its inaugural week last year.
If your brand is not yet involved, it’s time to begin targeting this opportunity for 2023 marketing plans.
Construction Inclusion Week began as a conversation in 2020 between Peter Davoren, CEO of Turner Construction and Gilbane Chairman Tom Gilbane Jr. about best practices for addressing social upheaval. Their conversation grew to include the C-Suites of M.A. Mortenson, DPR Construction, McCarthy Building Companies and Clark Construction Group.
The idea propelled by these initial six organizations — and by the time the first Construction Inclusion Week kicked off last year — 1200 firms had agreed to participate. The program recognizes that each participating firm likely will be at a different momentum with their existing workplace diversity, equity and inclusion. The point is that Construction Inclusion Week fosters conversations that create alignment.
To take the whole industry further, each firm understands that if they want to attract, retain, and develop the best talent… growing culture is the starting point toward creating a truly inclusive workplace.
Each day of Construction Inclusion Week focuses on a different area of inclusion on jobsites:
- Monday: Commitment and Accountability
- Tuesday: Belonging
- Wednesday: Supplier Diversity
- Thursday: Workplace Culture
- Friday: Community Engagement
The event’s website includes a guide that participants can access as a road map for activities, such as toolbox talks and events which can be implemented within companies and their jobsites. Companies can leverage tools that allow them to assess their own diversity as well as equity and inclusion maturity models. Training guides and webinars, daily simulcast events and a planning schedule template are also provided.
What’s more, there are kick off events that provide everything from in-person networking to panel discussions held across the country. While there is no fee to participate in Construction Inclusion Week, organizations are encouraged to register on the website. Participating organizations can provide a company logo that’ll appear on the main web page. And social media posts are encouraged to be tagged with #constructioninclusionweek… with promises for community-building amplification, by the organization.
Working toward greater inclusion
Construction Inclusion Week isn’t a conference, but rather an industry-wide effort to foster safe spaces for difficult conversations. The community provides educational insights and promotes a more inclusive construction industry.
The thinking is, that as more people join — metrics for awareness will increase — and the opportunities for the industry will continue to shift and grow.
Modeled on the past success of Safety Week, which helped dramatically bring down recordable incidents on jobsites since its founding in 2004… Construction Inclusion Week aims to do the same with bias-motivated events.
“This year’s growth in participation shows a growing buy-in to combating the racist events that have plagued jobsites,” said Turner CEO Peter Davoren. “We have more champions on the trade-partner level than ever before who are dedicating their businesses to eliminating hate and bias, and upgrading the behavior on projects so all workers are treated with dignity and respect.”