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Balfour Beatty Lifts Its Voice in Celebration of Black History Month
February 01, 2021
Developed in 1926 by Dr. Carter. G. Woodson, Black History Month was initially established as a week-long recognition of Black history and culture. It wasn’t until 1976 that U.S. President Gerald Ford officially recognized the entire month of February as Black History Month to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
As Balfour Beatty reflects on the strides made and the significance Black History Month brings to teammates across the country, the company is also introducing the Network of Black Leaders and Executives (NOBLE), an affinity group led by and for African American employees.
The new employee resource group—led by Earnest DeLoach Jr., vice president of legal and Mila Smith, vice president of human resources—will connect African American employees across the company as well as become a dedicated resource and access point for employees to facilitate networking opportunities, education, support and understanding in a safe, respectful space.
In honor of this year’s Black History Month, NOBLE recognizes the invaluable contributions made by African Americans past and present, as well as Balfour Beatty’s ongoing commitment to further understand and combat the challenges African Americans continue to encounter today.
Across the nation, Balfour Beatty’s NOBLE teammates are hosting a series of activities to commemorate, educate and activate other teammates in the company including:
- Conversations with corporate leaders, gaining insight into their perspectives on the business case for diversity and personal experiences across various industries
- Discussions emphasizing economic equality and empowerment for African American-owned businesses, including minority supply chain spending
- Recommending media selections to create greater insight into the African American experience
- Organizing COVID-19-appropriate social activities that boost camaraderie
- Posting a social media educational series to highlight historic injustices
The creation of the NOBLE affinity group not only strengthens Balfour Beatty’s DE&I initiatives but also adds to the richness of the company’s people-first culture. Beyond Black History Month, NOBLE will facilitate crucial conversations and learning opportunities for teammates of other backgrounds in the business, cultural commemorations and volunteer activities to further the company’s investment in professional development and success of diverse teammates.
By committing to a people-first culture that fosters safety, inclusion and acceptance, Balfour Beatty allows diverse individuals the opportunity to bring their authentic and unique life experiences and perspectives to the table, creating an inclusive workplace where everyone’s voice is valued and respected. By embracing diversity in this manner, Balfour Beatty is creating a more competitive, innovative and successful company where teammates of all backgrounds can grow and thrive.