Racism and bias still impact most industries. The construction industry is no different, but many leaders in the industry are taking a stand. Di-Ann Eisnor, Co-founder and CEO of Core, a technology platform that supports the construction workforce, shared what’s happening right now to combat racism and bias in construction.
What does racism look like in the industry? Eisnor said, “Some high-profile racists incidents occurred this summer, which caused a shutdown of a billion-dollar project. The company, Turner Construction, took a stand and stopped work to deliver training and a zero-tolerance policy. I was very proud of their action.”
It’s too early to tell the impact of this training and policy; however, the industry can do things to create a more positive environment for all workers. “The industry is continuing to deal with a labor shortage. Some from diverse backgrounds may look at the industry and say ‘it’s not for them,’ and we need to do more to open up that pipeline of applicants to more types of people,” Eisnor commented.
Systemic racism is a challenge for construction, fed by narrow referral networks. Core looks to change that with technology. “We want to break down the barrier of these small referral networks using an algorithm that matches skillsets to jobs at scale. We’re also looking for candidates in non-traditional channels,” Eisnor added.
Eisnor recommends three major steps construction companies can take to broaden their workforce diversity—audit who’s in your company at every level to understand if it’s diverse, provide diversity and inclusion training for all, and got outside the norm to recruit, like at minority colleges or targeting women. “Make your industry a welcome pipeline for all,” she said.
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