This week marks the second annual Construction Inclusion Week, which aims to flush out racism and hate on jobsites. This week has gained increased exposure, as awareness for the importance of inclusion at construction companies has continued to grow. EDA Contractors has a strong emphasis on inclusion that is highlighted in our culture and company values. Our commitment to each of the items outlined in this year’s Construction Inclusion Week curriculum is part of what makes us successful day in and day out.
Commitment and Accountability:
Commitment and accountability are inspired behaviors and start with individuals. Each employee shares a role in demonstrating these behaviors, and it is key for leadership to encourage them. Leaders at EDA participate in quarterly leadership training workshops, on topics that include emotional intelligence, communication, personality types, customer service, conflict management, and much more. The intention around these trainings is that not only will our leaders utilize the skills and information they receive to better lead their teams, but they will also share skills they learn with their employees. Ultimately, this helps them stay committed to their work and growth as leaders. Additionally, it empowers employees to lead and be accountable for the work that they complete each day. Accountability is part of what makes EDA unique and is imperative to achieving our promise. Recognizing this day helps everybody be leaders by modeling behaviors that create a more inclusive society.
Feeling like you belong is integral to feeling included at work. Fostering a diverse work environment that is inclusive of different social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds is key to reducing biases that make individuals feel less included. Additionally, having individuals throughout the company that advocate for inclusion publicly helps to ensure that biases are eliminated company-wide. At EDA, we have several programs that are designed to cutdown on biases and allow all employees to feel included at work. A few EDA programs that help groups belong include the EDA PACT Program, REBOOT Construction Services, and our Women in Construction Committee. We also have company-wide committees like Culture, Cares, Fun, and Champions that help employees feel included through events, activities, and programs that are sponsored by EDA.
Diverse suppliers include businesses that are at least 51% owned and operated by individual(s) that are part of an underrepresented or underserved communities. These traditionally included minority-owned business, women-owned businesses, and small-businesses. It also extends to other diverse groups including LGBTQ+, veterans, and people with disabilities. EDA values the relationships we have with each of our partners, and we are proud to support diverse suppliers and communities. We believe in giving back to underserved communities, supporting apprentice programs that empower underrepresented populations, and working with diverse suppliers who employ workers from various backgrounds.
At EDA, culture is engrained in everything that we do. We understand that it is impossible to truly separate your work and home life, and struggles in one will often bleed into the other. Part of our culture includes ensuring employees feel psychologically safe at work. This includes being open with their emotions and ensuring that everybody is valued and respected. It also includes constant communication about company updates and a 360-degree feedback loop that is aimed at things that need improvement. EDA culture is driven by groups of employees who are tasked with planning events, reporting on areas that need improvement, and elevating the voices of every employee. Employees are constantly reminded of EDA’s commitment to culture with things like requests for feedback, regular trainings, and company-sponsored events.
Community engagement comes in numerous ways, and EDA takes a blended approach to engaging with the community. One of our biggest community-driven programs is EDA Cares, EDA’s charitable arm. EDA Cares includes a group of EDA employees who lead efforts to give back to local charities throughout the year. Participation in Cares events are wide-ranging and offered throughout the company. In addition to Cares, EDA also understands the value of educating the community about careers in construction. This sometimes comes in the form of attending career fairs at colleges and universities, but also includes support for programs like REBOOT Construction Services that help minority communities learn and begin their careers in construction.
Our commitment to inclusion does not end with the conclusion of Construction Inclusion Week. Each of these subjects represent an important part of what makes EDA unique. Growing our culture, working within our internal and external communities, and creating an inclusive workplace are all things that everybody is expected to think about everyday that they come to work.