Building a culture of inclusion opens up new possibilities for personal, company and community growth.
For women, a culture of inclusion in construction can unlock tremendous possibilities. Women hold just three percent of the seven million construction jobs in the U.S. Catalyst, an organization that works to build inclusive workplaces, has found that teams with an equal mix of men and women outperform male-dominated teams in both profits and sales. Recruiting and hiring more women is an obvious way to increase diversity in the construction industry, but building an inclusive environment in which women can thrive is just as – if not more – important in the long run.
Not only is gender diversity essential for team performance, but diverse leadership has also been shown to boost business performance. In 2007, Catalyst found that companies with the most women board directors outperformed those with the least on three financial measures: return on equity, return on sales, and return on invested capital.
With this in mind, last year we launched the Skanska Women’s Network, an employee resource group focused on retaining and developing women throughout our organization, especially for leadership roles. It provides professional development and a forum in which women can share experiences and influence the company. Groups like the Skanska Women’s Network help women make connections, share ideas and develop the confidence they need to thrive and lead our business. Unlocking these resources and connections for women creates new possibilities not only for their personal growth, but for Skanska as well.