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2021 Construction Inclusion Week Recap

October 27, 2021

Joining a group of contractors and other construction industry partners, Egan Company recognized the inaugural Construction Inclusion Week (October 18-22). Each day celebrated a different theme: commitment/accountability, unconscious bias, supplier diversity, jobsite culture, and community engagement.

According to its website, Construction Inclusion Week is the first effort to harness the collective power of general contractors, specialty contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers. Its objective is to build awareness of the need to improve diversity and inclusion in the construction industry by providing content and resources. 

Leading up to Construction Inclusion Week, we asked our Egan team members to join the conversation and share their perspectives on what Diversity and Inclusion meant to them personally as well as their experiences at Egan. We were able to share some of their responses throughout Construction Inclusion Week and are recapping them here as well.

How have you embraced diverse perspectives or diverse experiences at Egan?

  • With open arms! Change and evolution is a healthy way for a company to grow and succeed.
  • By working in a diverse working environment I have more opportunity to engage with workers from different parts of the world and have gained insight into their perspective so it helps future interactions
  • Learning methods of other coworkers to better develop my own techniques as well as understand their logic and perspective in hopes of creating a more collaborative/cooperative atmosphere.
  • By working with not against those whose culture may not be the same. We all bring different ideas to work based on personal beliefs which allows us to be a successful team.
  • Diversity is so much more than what we can see. Everyone has a different lens based on their life experiences. I believe curiosity, keeping an open mind, and having an open heart has allowed me to personally embrace diverse perspectives at work.
  • Always embracing others to be a team player and looking for others opinions to do a task better, easier or safer.
  • By seeking out and learning from people who bring a different perspective than I do.
  • One of the most important things people can bring to the table is their experiences on diverse projects of the past. We learn from what we have done in the past and it helps shape a better future for projects.

What’s one way you could help create an environment where diversity is celebrated and inclusion is fostered?

  • Be welcoming of others, always.
  • Purposefully seek out point-of-views and perspectives from all people in my field and acknowledge those ideas and the person who provided those ideas when we are successful.
  • Be open minded about where other people are at your projects. They may view things differently than you and that is not necessarily wrong, just different. Have open minds to encourage open talk to bring open hearts.
  • Get involved and promote the importance of diversity and inclusion, especially in our industry!
  • Find ways to recognize and celebrate our differences.
  • I can encourage those with diverse opinions and ideas to feel comfortable sharing ideas on how to tackle different tasks in both innovative and effective ways.
  • I can spend more time listening and trying to understand the perspectives of the people I work with. It’s important to remember that even though I may see or experience things a certain way, that experience isn’t always shared by everyone. We all come at our work from different backgrounds and perspectives, and everyone adds value to Egan in their own unique way.
  • I can help create a safe work environment where all are free to share their thoughts, hopes, and dreams. In this type of environment we’ll learn more about each other and become a closer, more productive group.

How do you support diversity with Egan’s suppliers, subcontractors, or other partners?

  • Over the years I have created working relationships with women and minority owned businesses. Through these relationships I have subcontracted and/or purchased a portion of the construction project through these companies. This has been a very successful process that creates partnerships for future projects.
  • We have many suppliers to choose from and when Egan has certain bids we use suppliers/ subcontractors that meet the DBE, WBE, MBE and VOSB criteria we will take their numbers to use. This supports diversity in the supply chain and promotes competition to keep pricing down.
  • I have worked with many TGB partners on many projects to meet/exceed project goals throughout my PM career.
  • Personally, I do my best to treat everyone equally and speak in a professional manner to co-workers, subs and vendors. I don’t ever intimidate or ostracize them from the team or project based on their gender, race or religion.
  • Through promotion of MBE, DBE, WBE organizations/firms and their capabilities
  • Make sure that minority contractors get quotes and information from me as promptly and thoroughly as contractors I am familiar with
  • Provide opportunities and support for other Diverse suppliers.

How do you volunteer to help people of diverse backgrounds in the community?

  • Coaching youth basketball and football. There are multiple backgrounds and family dynamics involved with each team.
  • My family participates in a Christmas toy drive that focuses on children who otherwise may not get a gift at Christmas.
  • Through donation of items — our family is fortunate so we give in form of others’ needs (car donated to women experiencing hardship or abuse, bikes donated to kids in need, food donated to food banks, “wishlist items” donated to underprivileged kids during the holidays)
  • We donate money to nonprofits in our community that help various people. We also volunteer to pick up garbage around the neighborhood – although this helps everyone including businesses.
  • Work with AWANA program that has kids from non English speaking homes
  • My family helps our elderly community with mobility issues. We assist them by giving them rides to appointments or to get groceries or just doing certain tasks that would otherwise be challenging for them to do.

Across our Egan jobsites, we were able to embrace this week further with a Toolbox Talk revolving around the Culture of C.A.R.E. to provide a commitment to ensure team members feel welcome no matter what. The four founding principles of C.A.R.E. (as outlined by Construction Inclusion Week) are:

  1. COMMIT to hire and pay based on skill and experience, regardless of ability, age, ethnicity, gender identity, nationality, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation.
  2. ATTRACT prospective employees, suppliers and subcontractors by creating inclusive workplaces that are free from harassment, hazing and bullying 
  3. RETAIN high-performing employees by identifying and removing barriers to advancement
  4. EMPOWER every individual to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion

For more tools and resources, visit Construction Inclusion Week.

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