When you think about construction as an industry, chances are “diversity” is not one of the first words that come to mind. This industry has been predominately represented by males (specifically, white males), and even though this is slowly starting to change over time, it is still a preconceived notion that could deter many females or minorities from even considering a career in construction.
However, companies with gender, racial, and ethnic diversity are far more likely to see above-average financial returns than their homogeneous counterparts.
Why is this, you might ask? Well, it might sound like a cliché, but we are stronger together. When people with different backgrounds and experiences come together, we are able to come up with more comprehensive and creative solutions. Not to mention, many clients look to find vendors that represent their own companies.
Bottom line: You want the best talent – and not just from the white male talent pool.
Here are some steps that you can take to make your construction company a more diverse – and, as a result, successful – organization:
Create a Diversity Task Force
This should be a small group of individuals – preferably made up of minority groups – who are actively focused on bringing diversity into the organization. This should include recruiting efforts and ensuring that these employees feel welcome and are able to advance within the organization. Also, minority employees (and others) should be able to come to this task force to discuss any potential issues, concerns, or ideas they have for creating a more inclusive environment.
Consider Your Benefits Package
If you want to increase the level of diversity within your organization, you need to think about the benefits and offerings that are most important to these groups of individuals. This should hopefully go without saying: it is best to talk to these individuals directly to find out what they care about (as opposed to assuming yourself). Talk to existing employees – or, if you need a larger sample size, consider conducting a survey.
Seek Out Diverse Clients and Projects
Having a diverse organization does not stop at the individuals that you employ. You should also actively be seeking out work opportunities that represent a wide range of clientele and projects. This will emphasize your need for an inclusive team and challenge your organization’s creative thinking – it will also demonstrate your dedication to diversity and help in your recruiting efforts.
Embracing diversity has many potential benefits for your company – but it is not something that can happy overnight. You need to dedicate time and resources to becoming more inclusive. That said, the payoff will most certainly be worth it.