Building Executives: Social Equity Key To Boosting Workforce

The National Institute of Building Sciences will release a report on diversity, social equity and inclusion in May 2023.

Photo: Adobe Stock – ClareM

The National Institute of Building Sciences recently convened 30 building industry executives to discuss social equity and goals to steer the future of the U.S. built environment workforce.

NIBS is partnering with Avenue M Group to conduct a biannual survey of the building industry to take the pulse on where things stand, with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Survey results will be released in May.

“A successful workforce hinges on companies and organizations championing and nurturing DEI,” said AC Powell, JD, CPS, President and CEO of NIBS. “Inclusion, diversity, social equity, and opportunity must be embedded into all aspects of built environment operations.”

An initiative of the NIBS Consultative Council, the roundtable follows the first Built Environment Social Equity Survey, which was released in May 2021. This initial study included 16 participating organizations, who sought to obtain consistent data across many industry sectors.

NIBS And Social Equity

According to the May 2021 Built Environment Social Equity Survey, most respondents (65%) indicated it is important or extremely important to increase the diversity of the built environment.

Other highlights: 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; and 66% of respondents indicated they have experienced discrimination or prejudice based on gender (women).

Last year, the Consultative Council released its annual Moving Forward Report, examining the critical area of driving workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion in the built environment. The report found that the U.S. is reaching a crisis point, in terms of ensuring that a “full pipeline” of skilled workers is available to meet the needs of a rapidly advancing building industry.

“Critical to this effort is improving access, targeted recruitment efforts, and training for women and underrepresented groups, including ensuring fair and equitable opportunities for career advancement within the industry,” says the report.

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