Experts Share Advice on Inclusion and Diversity in Construction
“You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable,” said Terry, the vice president of diversity affairs for Dallas-based contractor Austin Commercial, during a panel on diversity in construction at the 2021 Construction Financial Management Association’s annual conference
The panel followed a series of racist incidents on construction sites around the nation, including nooses found on an Amazon jobsite in April. Between 2015 and 2020, the EEOC has received at least 50 complaints involving nooses on construction sites.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 data, 10.9% of construction industry members are women. Regarding race, 6% are Black, and 2% are Asian. Thirty percent are Latino, a demographic category of ethnicity, not race.
Steps to Diversity in Construction
Two of the biggest points brought up by the panel overlapped with each other—make small, manageable changes that you can commit to instead of big, sweeping ones, and not being silent on issues of injustice in the workplace.
Panelist Brittany Diederich, spoke during the panel about how it felt to her when people see social issues, such as being LGBTQIA+, through a political lens.
“It’s not political to be a human being,” Diederich said.
“You don’t have to boil the ocean overnight. Start somewhere, start that conversation, and use those rules of engagement,” Hudson said.