Construction Diversity: How to Promote Inclusion in a Man-Dominated Industry
Construction Diversity: How to Promote Inclusion in a Man-Dominated Industry

Construction Diversity: How to Promote Inclusion in a Man-Dominated Industry


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Diversity and inclusion are foreign concepts in an industry dominated by men. While other industries have fully embraced the concept of diversity, the construction field still exists in the past. Even though construction has taken a step towards diversity, it needs more unified work to reach a more equitable status.

The question now is, how can construction organizations adapt to the changing times and start to focus on diversity and inclusion? How will the industry hierarchy change in the next few years? Why is diversity necessary for the construction sector moving forward?

Let’s dive into it.

How Critical is Diversity in Managing Construction?


For decades, construction organizations in the U.S. have mostly comprised only white men. However, companies now see the benefits of including new voices from different walks of life. Here are six key reasons why diversity in construction is essential for the industry’s growth. 

Tackling The Labor Shortage

The Great Recession of the 2000s and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 have significantly harmed the construction industry. Both major events led to massive resignations and early retirements in the construction sector, reducing productivity worldwide. In 2024, you can still see the labor shortage going strong. There are still a lot of gaps in the workforce, and the younger generation of workers is showing little interest in the industry.

Diversity and inclusion initiatives strive to solve the labor shortage by widening the talent pool of workers and making potential team members feel welcome. For modern jobseekers, seeing diversity is non-negotiable, and if they do not, they may leave quickly. Demonstrating efforts towards diversity and inclusion leads to better construction crew management and improved organizational outcomes. 

Boosting Productivity and Performance

Diversifying your construction team leads to better productivity performance for your organization. With various voices in the room, your team will make better decisions, foster creativity, and solve problems more effectively. Moreover, you’ll have an easier time navigating different markets in the U.S. and worldwide. Research has consistently shown that diversified companies outperform their competitor across all industries.

When you have a homogenous workplace, it often becomes obsolete and stale. A group of people with the same race and gender are more likely to engage in biased thinking and less likely to challenge the status quo. Diversifying the construction team brings better ratings and financial incentives to construction companies.

Improving Problem-Solving Skills

Problem-solving is an essential skill in construction. Some projects may be more challenging, or a project owner may have special requests for the building specifications and materials. Your construction team must be able to navigate the littlest details and ensure client satisfaction. How can you increase critical thinking on your team? Diversify your construction crew management to see innovative and out-of-the-box solutions arise. 

Construction diversity allows employees to connect with team members from unfamiliar cultures and educational backgrounds. Learning new traditions and customs has positive cognitive and psychological effects, such as creativity and innovation. Acknowledging different perspectives from different walks of life makes everybody feel appreciated and heard in their work. 

Fostering A Safe Work Culture

When you go to work, you want to feel comfortable and safe with those around you. Your working time is more motivating when you have people who relate to your background and experiences in life. Women and other minorities might not feel this way if their supervisors and managers don’t look like them. Diversifying management teams helps boost the workers’ sense of belonging and makes them feel more secure on the job site. 

A significant portion of Black and Hispanic construction employees quit their jobs after observing discrimination or experiencing it for themselves. Establishing a more diversified management team in construction reduces the likelihood that these scenarios will repeat themselves. 

The construction industry should also make more effort to ensure women feel safe in the men-centered workplace. Despite increased recruitment efforts, discrimination and harassment still occur against women. Some women have considered leaving construction, with nearly half citing a lack of respect and harassment. Also, several women say they always or frequently face sexual harassment at the job site. Putting more women in the management decreases the likelihood of these events. 

Acquire New Perspectives

Introducing employees from various cultural and professional backgrounds helps your company gain new perspectives on the construction industry. Your current management team may have acquired different methods if they studied internationally, offering innovative thinking and problem-solving skills in managing operations. 

Diversity and sustainability go hand in hand when discussing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores. These ESG scores are important for measuring a company’s commitment to long-term sustainability. You can enhance your ESG scores by reducing carbon footprint strategies and carefully monitoring water usage. Hiring women and minority groups brings innovative ways to satisfy these crucial goals. 

Following Through on Expectations

ESG standards have become the main focus for construction companies and corporations across the Standard and Poor’s 500 or the S&P 500. Organizations globally have used P.R. campaigns to express their dedication to inclusion and diversity, but their actions usually must be aligned with their words. Some companies have shown little to no improvement in the past few years, demonstrating they are less committed to diversity than they said.  

Currently, women and minorities are outnumbered in entry-level positions and executive ranks. They also face gaps in promotions and usually encounter more challenges than their white male counterparts. Giving all employees an equal chance on the playing field for promotions is critical for ensuring the construction industry stays aligned with diversity standards in the future.  

What are Some Strategies to Diversify the Construction Workforce?


While supporting diversity and inclusion is an excellent start, applying diversity in your construction company is the biggest step to take. How can you ensure your team is the most optimal it can be? Here are a few strategies for diversifying and embracing inclusion when managing construction teams. 

Enforcing Non-Discrimination Policies

Diversification starts on a small scale— it begins with your company and the projects you’re handling. Are your rules conducive to an open and hybrid work environment? Younger job seekers, especially in construction, are picky about their workplaces, so implementing non-discrimination policies is critical to attracting new workers. Your job sites should be harassment-free and unbiased towards any race, gender, or other categorization. 

Some of the non-discrimination policies that you can implement in the construction field are the following:

  • A non-discrimination policy statement from the management
  • Ethnicity, age, and gender diversity in leadership
  • Merit-based recruitment and promotion
  • Equitable salary and employee benefits 

Your employees of all races, genders, and generations will feel much safer if they have protection and know that the management will enforce the rules. 

Prioritizing Professional Growth

Recruiting and keeping women and minority candidates in your company are critical to your workforce management. How can you ensure your employees get the most out of their stay in your business? One of the best ways is to highlight professional development and growth. Women and minorities usually have more difficulty getting promotions and pay raises, so making professional growth readily available helps open opportunities that retain these employees. 

Women in leadership positions prioritize professional training, good interpersonal relationships with coworkers, and nonmonetary rewards more than anything. Focusing on your employees’ short- and long-term requests considerably helps with diversity and inclusion. 

Engaging In Apprenticeship Programs

Despite being one of the most traditional industries, the construction industry isn’t getting any younger. Many older workers have retired and will continue to do so, causing numerous openings in construction — specifically in management. How can you implement diversity and inclusion to fill the gaps in the workforce? Some industries have partnered with vocational schools and community colleges and started apprenticeship programs.

These academic institutions see people of all ethnicities, ages, and genders, creating an excellent opportunity for the construction field to aid diversity. With these partnerships, you can foster qualified workers and ensure they’re ready for the job when they graduate. Your company can also help women and minority students with scholarships by paying for their education. Investing in management students now creates more company opportunities and eliminates the need for on-the-job training.

Collaborating With Diversity-Focused Organizations

Another option is collaborating with diversity-focused groups within the construction industry. These organizations provide training and education to women and minorities seeking jobs in construction management and other positions across the industry. Most of these organizations have corporate connections, giving you access to these worthy objectives. 

Some organizations in the United States include:

  • National Black Contractors Association (NBCA)
  • National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)
  • Women Construction Owners and Executives USA (WCOE)
  • U.S. Minority Contractors Association (USMCA) 


Key Takeaway


Diversity is becoming increasingly critical for companies worldwide each year. The construction industry has taken some steps toward these initiatives. However, more work is needed to ensure women and minorities have equal chances for management positions. And it should start from your company.

Take a bigger step towards diversification with construction crew dispatch software that will help you manage your crew better. Help recruits learn about your project—schedule, inventory, tasking, document — everything they need to know to make them feel included and knowledgeable about your operations.

Pro Crew Schedule allows a bird’s eye view of your workforce as you move forward with a more diverse vision for your company in the coming years. 

Start your 30-day free trial today.

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