Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in the Construction Industry

1. Introduction

The main objective of the study is to propose the inclusion of men as a strategy for competitiveness, a supplementary objective concerns the passage of eight selected construction companies in Portugal, characterized by their size and international presence. It is becoming clear that companies must use human resources as a competitive tool, displaying a competitive strategy connected to both gender groups. Analysis of the companies in the construction sector suggests that, in fact, the potential that has been demonstrated in recent years in Portugal reflects some cultural factors and reveals others such as weak management negotiation with their employees, employees working more hours, difficulties in accessing technology, and living outside of their country of residence, which leads to a high emotional stress of crossing processes that we did attract gender. Therefore, this study reflects on the role of supervisors and employees in rethinking business strategy.

This article addresses the points which are considered relevant to companies seeking competitiveness in the construction industry. The importance of diversity and its inclusion contribute to the competitiveness of enterprises, in order to generate differentiation in the market, minimizing existing prejudices, and contributing to news in people’s perspective. This concept is primarily based on changes in living and working conditions, fundamentally in the last fifteen years. Through the advent of communication technologies, the increase of information and access to education and training, this diversity managed to find the space to demonstrate its potential, enabling continuous development and alternatives in decision-making, already well-identified components that contribute to business excellence. Equality and diversity are therefore important and an integral part of everyday practices.

2. Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion in Construction

The addition of women improves diversity in the company but also carries many benefits. They are thought to add to the allure of a business. Several research reports have deemed construction service provision by females to be of elevated quality. It, therefore, displays that considering how service performance would be influenced by inclusion will raise the risk of deprivation. Women contribute their unique skill sets to conquer obstacles often found in male-dominating research units. Such abilities involve cooperation, bespoke communication methods, and social persuasion. Research has also shown that women are likely to become more efficient decision-makers in times of crises. Study has also shown that women bring diverse skill sets to the table to overcome some of the problems generally seen in male-dominated peer organizations. Cooperative, bespoke communication methods, and social persuasion are abilities of such nature. Recent research findings have also indicated that women will probably be better decision-makers in longitudinal situations.

The construction industry is known as male-dominated and emphasizes sites that are hostile to women. As such, it is critical to consider adding women to the labor force and leveling statistics so that they are representative. The stereotypical images result in the deterioration of the construction industry, which imposes a challenge in production. As a result, a reduction in the number of experts is witnessed, as bias occurs among clients and business associates. Nevertheless, these stereotypes are not a crystal that underscores an equal future for people in the construction industry, but also that people are victims of a vicious cycle of discrimination and would encounter other areas. The construction industry will take that value along if the industry’s demographics mirror the region’s population.

3. Challenges in Achieving Diversity and Inclusion

Despite the increasing demographic presence and rapid expansion of the US construction industry, women remain skeptical of seeking employment and are often exposed to bias, harassment, and stereotyping at the work site. These negative experiences, coupled with low promotion prospects that could potentially lead to elevating women in leadership roles in construction organizations, are major challenges that companies and unions experience when advocating diversity and inclusion in the traditionally male-based construction industry. An indication of this concept comes from a survey of the Employee Benefit Research Institute in 2019, which states that employees had various views regarding the public policy contributions the government should enable. The survey recorded that 54% of American employees believe the government should play an active role in promoting and addressing access to work opportunities for women fair wages. This implies that a high proportion of employees protested about the gender wage gap resulting from gender discrimination influenced by employer biases in the male-dominated construction industry.

Many people perceive the construction industry as male dominated. Defendants and minorities face the same perception in other industries. It is important to point out that the construction industry has been working towards gender equality and diversity in general. One example is how “Minority and Women owned Business Enterprises” (MWBE’s) are included in the contractual work solicitation Bid, and Contracting Opportunities through the City of New York Business Services (NYCBS), and the Department of Small Business Services (DSBS). The present article aims to raise awareness on how women are placed in male-dominated industries, the history of the labour movement in the USA advocating for gender equality in construction, and how the present-day industry enables companies to embrace innovation through diversity. The approach employed is desk research. Findings are based on academic papers, construction industry reports and surveys, government reports, and news articles. Female involvement in the construction industry is expanding into non-traditional roles.

4. Strategies for Promoting Diversity and Inclusion

By coming into real, substantive opportunity to bring promising students in today with the company when they see it exemplified with tangible content, the promotional materials, and selling materials all converge into a single quality narrative that features the diverse perspectives of not just company leaders, but also the product itself. Threshold levels are reached to where firms are in any instance of a story that leads all to see that the needs of individuals are met. As a result, loyal stakeholders with higher-order needs seem to prove that the narrative is true.

A more proactive approach is to align promotional materials with your Diversity & Inclusion narrative. This might find your company doing a sponsor relationship with a local club or in support of a program that has not come into public scrutiny. By meeting the higher-order need for the individuals involved, everyone involved can detect a social impact that meets the needs for each individual, including the individual needs for stakeholders harmed by past activities.

When you consider the primary modes by which companies seek to address diversity and inclusion, you will come to find that many strategies are reactive and one-size-fits-all. In some cases, this helped the company in question, as they were able to generate more favorable perception outcomes from stakeholders. Yet in other cases, companies faced criticism for not being proactive enough as it is very simple for companies to participate in reactive situations, such as philanthropic events, where donations to charities are made known to the general public.

5. Training Resources for Inclusive Workplace Culture

Diversity and inclusion initiatives often focus on women and underrepresented minorities. Though the construction sector has a poor record on both counts, diversity and inclusion cover everyone, but in different ways. This course is organized in three modules. The first, “Building an Inclusive Culture,” covers the global trends driving the importance of inclusion in the workplace. The second, “Overcoming Unconscious Bias,” provides a foundational understanding of unconscious bias. And the third, “Creating More Inclusive Workplaces,” addresses many common challenges and failure points to effective diversity and inclusion discussions and actions. Organizations are better positioned to persistently execute on needed changes at the individual, project, or overall company-wide level.

The Association for Talent Development, a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world, has introduced a program providing resources and training to help organizations and professionals in learning and development initiatives. These come in the form of courses, tools, and research on the importance of becoming a more inclusive organization. According to the association’s research, inclusive organizations have a greater share of customers, capture new markets, and deliver better performance. Additionally, organizations that successfully create a more inclusive organization have a competitive advantage.