The Branch Group celebrates Careers in Construction month every October, showcasing various careers in our industry and debunking common myths about having a career in construction. Additionally, in 2021 we are participating in the first annual Construction Inclusion week.
In 2020, a group of general contractors came together to create a consortium titled Time for Change. This group aims to identify ways to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in our industry, and we are discussing these efforts this week.
When asked about inclusion in the industry, Branch Group CEO, Donald Graul, said, “Last year the Branch Group proudly joined hundreds of industry peers in signing the “C.A.R.E.” pledge – an initiative backed by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) and Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) dedicated to fostering diversity and inclusion in the construction workplace. While our industry is struggling to find workers and fill vacancies, we continue to lag behind other industries in gender and racial minority representation in our workforce. We have seen an increase of unacceptable hate acts on job sites across North America over the past year-and-a-half and we must take a strong position against this behavior and act on it. At Branch, a condition of employment is acting in a way that is inclusive. We will face workplace hatred head-on with new tough subcontractor contract clauses, job site stand-downs, and terminations of employees whose actions are inconsistent with our values. This is one of our highest priorities. We cannot achieve the goals we’ve established unless we embrace diversity and inclusion.”
The Branch Group has several initiatives and training efforts in the works to help further our mission. Early in 2021, we formed the first-ever women in construction group, Women @ Branch, a place where our women can come together to address challenges they face in construction, have mentorship opportunities, and connect with other women in our community. Groups for our veterans and young professionals are also in the works. Currently, we are ensuring all new hires and hiring managers go through unconscious bias training. We are recruiting from HBCU’s and all-women’s schools and taking steps to make sure our hiring processes are fair. Our intern class of 2021 was our most diverse ever, with a record number of minority and female interns.
Our work is far from over, so as we wrap up 2021 and head into 2022, we look forward to cultivating a more diverse and inclusive culture in the industry and at Branch Group.