Late last month, the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) held an executive Social Equity Roundtable, meeting with dozens of leaders to help move the needle on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the built environment.
The meeting was a follow up to a December 2020 executive roundtable entitled “Improving the Workforce of the Built Environment Through Social Equity.” The goal of these meetings is to discuss workforce, industry sustainability, review data and best practices, and partnerships.
“We must work together as an industry to focus on steps that will impact real change,” said Lakisha A. Woods, CAE, President and CEO of NIBS. “Committing to take specific action as it relates to developing a diverse leadership pipeline is the key to future success.”
Next Steps, Group Commitments
NIBS will sign the PwC CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, joining 2,000 CEOs who have signed the pledge. The pledge aims to cultivate trusting workplaces that can have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations; implement and/or expand unconscious bias education; and share best—and unsuccessful—practices.
NIBS also will compile and share best practices with industry leaders, who participated in the roundtable. The goal: To have all building industry organizations commit to the CEO Action Pledge and other recommended steps, including committing to building a diverse leadership team and promoting members, by the end of September.
Following the December roundtable, NIBS partnered with independent market research and consulting firm Avenue M Group to study the current demographics and culture of the building industry.
According to the study:
- 65% of respondents think it’s important or extremely important to increase the diversity of the built environment
- 43% of employed respondents indicated their company has a program or initiative dedicated to DEI
- 28% of respondents indicated they have experienced discrimination or prejudice based on age
- 66% of respondents indicated they have experienced discrimination or prejudice based on gender (women)
Learn more about NIBS’ commitment toward cultivating and preserving a culture of inclusion and connectedness here.