You’ve probably heard the term DEI before, and you’ve likely even taken steps toward creating a diverse and inclusive work culture — but do you really understand the full impact a diverse talent pipeline can have on a company?
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) describe an organization’s mindset when engaging in processes like hiring, promotion, and community engagement. A diverse workforce reflects the diversity of the world we live in — where no one racial or ethnic group, gender, or sexual orientation is disproportionately represented. An equitable organization gives employees fair and equal opportunities, while also providing aid for certain employees to rise to their full potential. Finally, an inclusive company strives to ensure all employees feel welcome to live and work as their genuine selves.
Committing to DEI can be intimidating because it means changing practices and attitudes across many levels. However, it can also help your company cultivate a thriving workforce and work culture, offer solutions to rising issues, and give your organization unforeseen opportunities to change and grow for the better. Here’s how a diverse talent pipeline benefits your organization.
DEI solves your worker shortage dilemma
The construction industry is facing an enormous challenge: attracting young talent to replace an aging workforce. Each year, more and more jobs in the industry go unfilled — 2022 set a record with nearly 500,000 open jobs, despite low layoff rates.
Part of the issue is the construction industry’s historical uniformity, with the majority of workers being older white men. With 48% of Gen Z being racial or ethnic minorities, the numbers simply don’t add up. In order for the industry to grow, it needs to diversify.
DEI lifts up all talent, regardless of racial, ethnic, or gender identity. According to a 2017 Deloitte survey, 80% of respondents view inclusion efforts as an important factor when choosing a company they’d like to work for. A clear commitment to DEI attracts talent from all walks of life — meaning fewer jobs go unfilled.
Diverse employees bring diverse perspectives
By drawing from diverse pools of talent, you introduce new ideas and perspectives into your company culture. Marlon Parnell, an Owner Site Representative for Target, always had a love for art — and connecting to a company with a strong DEI pipeline helped him realize his passion could be channeled into construction. Now, Marlon is realizing his dream of constructing beautiful community landmarks every day at work.
Diverse perspectives can come from experiences as well as passions. Tyshaun Allen is a ConstructReach collaborator who attributes his unique outlook to time spent living in both New York and Indiana. “I think I’ve seen two sides of different worlds and different cultures,” he says. As a result, Tyshaun is able to bring new ideas to the table, offering ways to connect with a young audience across the country.
Construction projects come together thanks to the collaboration of many minds — from builders to architects to engineers. Opening your pipeline to fresh ways of thinking allows innovation to thrive.
DEI fuels innovation and collaboration
Bright young workers will put your company ahead of the curve. With a diverse and talented workforce, you’ll be able to develop ideas and practices to set you apart from the competition, as well as forming connections with like-minded individuals both across industries and within your own organization.
For Mike Arasin, CEO of Fulcrum Construction, engaging with DEI meant dissolving the separation between his company’s internship programs. Instead of siloing talent, interns were encouraged to work together and learn all parts of the industry, giving them the skills needed to forge ahead in a multitude of different roles.
Echoing that thought, architect Nelly Augustyn believes, “Construction is a fast moving industry. It ebbs and flows. The more diversity we have, the better it will be.” By embracing the perspectives brought by a diverse workforce, companies can keep up with the pace of the industry, managing ups and downs by remaining competitive.
A partner to help achieve your goals
Committing to diversity, equity, and inclusion isn’t linear. There is no set finish line to reach or box to tick. You can continually work on and improve your DEI efforts and watch as your results take shape and positively impact your organization. With DEI bringing in more workers, innovative perspectives, and endless opportunities to collaborate, there is no reason to hesitate.
In a conversation with ConstructReach founder and CEO Paul Robinson, construction manager Chris Seville gives some definitive advice on diverse recruitment: “I don’t want you to lower the bar. I want a shot, and that’s it. Give us a chance, and let’s make it happen.”
Ready to make it happen? ConstructReach can be your partner in organizational change management, DEI consulting, internship program optimization, and connecting brands and general contractors to diverse talent — get involved today.