Here at PRIME, Diversity and Inclusion are tenets of our culture and are woven into every one of our Core Values. We believe that we all share the responsibility of creating our “Culture of Inclusion.”
Celebrating Diversity Month gives us a chance to better our understanding, empathy, and compassion for the world and each other. Although diversity and inclusion may seem like buzzwords, we recognize the importance of sharing our actions as we strive to cultivate a diverse community. For PRIME, diversity means that we ensure multiple identities are represented within our organization. We continually work to include traditionally excluded individuals and groups in decision- and policy-making processes. We believe that by sharing this power, we ensure all individuals within our organization feel valued and welcomed.
How do we construct a diverse, inclusive culture that encourages creative contributions to our industry? PRIME finds the best place to start is by prioritizing internal support structures for underrepresented groups. Our partnerships with ANEW, Cypress Mandela, Fortitude Careers, Camp buildHER, and Heavy Metal Summer Experience allow us to connect with those underrepresented groups and share opportunities.
Diverse organizations and communities are inherently more productive, creative, and happier. Studies have shown that worksites with varying perspectives and life experiences cultivate new ideas and solutions. Every day, the construction industry is aging, with many workers nearing retirement age. This presents future challenges for the industry and contributes to the labor shortage, which in turn could lead to rising housing prices, longer builds, and delayed or canceled projects. This is why it is essential to continue to diversify the workforce by recruiting younger and more diverse workers. We’ve learned that diversity is crucial to a company’s innovation and success.
PRIME has been on an intentional DE&I journey for the last several years, starting with the formation of our Women In Construction Council. This council provides support, education, and networking opportunities to the women who work at PRIME. We continue to encourage the growth of women in our organization and industry by developing strategic community partnerships with organizations that share the same dedication and commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity.
Organizations such as ANEW in Tukwila, Washington and Cypress Mandela in Oakland, California are committed to promoting the development and growth of women and BIPOC individuals education in the construction community. We currently have 6 ANEW grads working for PRIME in Washington, with 5 from cohorts in 2021/2022 and 1 from 2000 who is a Senior Project Manager in our organization. PRIME actively supports and mentors these students by hosting hands-on workshops and participating in mock interviews to prepare them for the workforce. Through these partnerships, we have expanded our talent pipeline and filled multiple roles in the field and office.
Partnerships with high schools and summer camps, such as Heavy Metal Summer Experience and Camp buildHER, aim to expose young people to a potential career in trades and encourage them to explore new opportunities. These camps are free to attendees and teach basic elements of various construction trades with unique, hands-on learning experiences.
It is up to each of us to acknowledge that everyone on site or in the office adds value, deserves respect, and has an opportunity to contribute to the work. Creating a culture of diversity and inclusion enables everyone to show up as their authentic selves.
Ask yourself, “How can I create an inviting workplace for those who are different from me?”