Construction Inclusion Week doubles in size again

Dive Brief:

  • The third annual Construction Inclusion Week, an industry-led initiative to increase workforce diversity while eliminating hateful acts on jobsites, has again doubled in size while expanding internationally, according to a news release. 
  • The event, which kicks off Oct. 16 and runs through Oct. 20, boasts registrations from more than 5,000 firms this year, over twice the 2,345 companies it garnered in 2022, which was a two-fold increase from its inaugural year. 
  • Businesses from every U.S. state and Puerto Rico have signed up as participants. In addition, companies from Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Peru, India and Ghana have joined. Organizers said the event in 2023 will reach more than 750,000 workers, including subcontractors, craftworkers and construction management professionals, on over 6,500 project sites nationwide.

Dive Insight:

The groundswell of participation highlights the increased focus on recruiting underrepresented groups into the industry while shedding construction’s reputation as as exclusionary

Modeled after the success of Construction Safety Week, the event began in 2021 in the wake of George Floyd’s 2020 murder and the subsequent emergence of hangman’s nooses on jobsites across the country. But this year’s event comes amid increased scrutiny from government officials on discrimination within construction. 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission singled out construction as an industry of concern for discrimination and issued a scathing report earlier this year highlighting the egregious nature of hateful actions on building sites. 

In one high-profile case, as many as eight nooses were found at the worksite of an Amazon distribution center in Connecticut in 2021. While work was eventually paused at the site and law enforcement officials investigated, a group of workers is now suing Amazon, general contractor R.C. Andersen and subcontractor Wayne J. Griffin Electric, saying the firms didn’t do enough to eliminate the behavior in their workplace. 

In order to change the unwelcoming tone that can develop on jobsites, which are ruled by a top-down hierarchy that Turner Construction CEO Peter Davoren has compared to a traditional caste system, Construction Inclusion Week encourages discussion, toolbox talks and open discourse among different levels of workers on site. 

The event will have a theme around different topics each day:

  • Commitment and accountability (Monday).
  • Belonging (Tuesday).
  • Supplier diversity (Wednesday).
  • Workplace culture (Thursday).
  • Community engagement (Friday).

Firms can access free materials and content to increase their focus on diversity, equity and inclusion on CIW’s website. Video content will also be shared online and via social media throughout the week. 

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