Since 2012, diversity in Oregon’s state contracts has been legislatively supported through the state’s Certification Office of Business Inclusion and Diversity (COBID). While government-led initiatives have helped increase diversity within the A/E/C industries by consciously trying to level the playing field for many minority and woman-owned businesses, these efforts aren’t enough.
Diversity gives fresh ideas and new approaches to work and life. It enhances our understanding, increases our knowledge and insight, varies our perspectives, and oftentimes leads us to novel solutions to vexing problems. In building design, understanding how different people approach, occupy, and feel comfortable in a space necessitates a variety of diverse viewpoints. However, our firms and the A/E/C industries still have much work to do when it comes to effectively achieving true diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Only by making diversity the norm, rather than an aspirational goal, can we succeed. Companies content to just check the box are in danger of becoming industry dinosaurs. You only have to look at how public companies, investors, and even lenders today are increasingly focused on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) compliance.
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This article, written by Angie Cole, first appeared in the June 2021 issue of Marketer.