This is Part One of a two-part session on "The Business Imperative For Improving Diversity and Inclusion". See Part Two (immediately following, from 3:45p - 4:45p on Thursday) here. Attendance at both sessions is highly recommended, but not required.
There is growing awareness that it is in the collective best interest of the AEC industry to foster a more inclusive workplace. In 2012, AIA reported that 18% of members were women and only 9% were minorities. In the U.S. and many other industrialized countries, the trend line is clear. Businesses will need to address the scenario of growing diversity in the available talent pool. A diverse workforce is essential to delivering innovative, effective, and culturally relevant services. Diversity means moving beyond stereotypes of gender, culture, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexuality, physical abilities and economic background to form teams of talented professionals creating socially and environmentally impactful work. Inclusion spurs creativity and innovation is born from an engaged culture of diverse people, ideas and perspectives.
In the first part of this two-part discussion, we will explore how firms of varying sizes are addressing the issue of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The presenters will be describing how diversity and inclusion practices have allowed their firms to attract top talent, foster higher levels of employee engagement and to better serve the needs of an increasingly diverse clientele.