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Guest Blog Post: The Pitfalls of an Exclusive Industry

Written by :

Jackie Falla


Guest blogger Jackie Falla from Elaine Construction joins us for Construction Inclusion Week to discuss the importance of impacting change and providing resources to smaller businesses that are necessary for success.

The last few years we’ve done a lot of talking about Diversity.  We’ve talked our way into an alphabet soup of acronyms that organizations feel encapsulate the challenges we all face, as it relates to the construction industry.  Inclusion was supplanted by D & I, which got one-upped by DE & I and was bested still when “belonging” was thrown into the mix.  Not to be outdone, there are organizations that want justice, and claim to be dedicated to JEDI.  I can’t say I blame them, we could all use the power of the force when considering how to turn this exclusive club into an all-access pass, to the field, the office, or both.

Invest in Human Capital

October 18th through the 22nd marks the first inaugural Construction Inclusion Week.  There will be discussions about Leadership Commitment and Accountability, Supplier Diversity, Jobsite Culture, Community Engagement and Outreach, and more.  Important topics to cover for sure, but I feel left wanting more.  Actionable steps that will bring us closer to fortifying our industry with hardworking individuals from all walks of life.

There aren’t enough members in our exclusive club to manage and procure, to build, test, and commission, and this is driving costs and forcing delays.  A challenge that is only going to get worse unless we make an investment in our industry.  Like a company that is moving from manual data entry to automated systems, there will be a cost to purchase the equipment, and train employees, but it will pay dividends down the road.  A similar investment needs to be made in the human capital that fuels our industry.  Owners, OPM’s, General Contractors, and Subcontractors will need to share the financial commitment to training those new to the industry.  Access to resources that will help small business owners navigate the complexities of the commercial construction industry will be required.  Coaching, mentoring, training and support are all necessary for success.

Impact Change

If you are in the construction industry today – the buck stops here.  You have the ability to impact change, and if change is scary, which it can be, just think about how frightening it will be when the bucks stop flowing into your account.  May the force be with you all this week, as we include and belong, engage, and reach out, and work earnestly to build a stronger more sustainable industry.

For additional content related to Construction Inclusion Week, listen to this podcast on Diversity Equity & Inclusion from the National Association of Women in Construction.