Construction Inclusion Week doubles participation in second year

More than 2500 firms attended the 2022 event

Advocates for inclusion and diversity within the construction industry were celebrating this month, following record attendance at the 2022 Construction Inclusion Week (CIW).

More than 2500 firms from across the construction sector attended this year’s event, doubling its total from 2021. Sixty percent of the Top 25 Building Design + Construction Giants were registered to participate in CIW, which has an estimated reach of more than 500,000 industry workers, including subcontractors, craft workers, and construction management professionals, on over 5000 project sites nationwide.

The series of events, held from October 17th to 21st, took place virtually and in locations across the US, with the aim of building awareness and improving diversity and inclusion throughout the construction industry. Content for CIW 2022 covered robust curriculum resources, including a library of toolbox and table talks, facilitator tools, and discussion guides.

The 2022 instalment of the event also introduced a DEI Maturity assessment, helping firms to evaluate their progress on diversity and inclusion, and to chart progress effectively.

What is Construction Inclusion Week?

First held in 2021, CIW’s mission is to bring together general contractors, specialty contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers to build awareness and improve diversity and inclusion in the construction industry.

‘Our intent is that Construction Inclusion Week fosters conversations that create alignment and take us further on this journey for our people and industry partners,’ the company website states.

‘If we genuinely want to attract, retain, and develop the best talent for our industry and maximize the diversity of our suppliers, we must grow our industry’s culture to be truly inclusive.’

CIW founding members include DPR Construction, Mortenson, Turner Construction, McCarthy, Clark Construction Group, and Gilbane Building Company.

Diversity and inclusion: a solution to the shortage

 The drastic need to promote diversity and inclusion within the construction industry is nothing new. For decades, the disproportionate majority of those working within the sector have been white, whereas those from minority backgrounds have been under-represented.

Women also make up a small proportion of those in construction and extraction occupations, accounting for just 3.4 percent of workers in 2021, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
With the construction industry in the grip of an intense labor shortage, however, the industry is facing greater need to attract people to the profession. The industry had more than 375,000 vacancies in July, according to data from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

By changing the perception of the industry among traditionally under-represented groups, diversity and inclusion initiatives are a crucial cornerstone of this strategy.