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Balfour Beatty’s Inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit 2020
November 19, 2020
Critical conversations and engagement make way for a more inclusive future
2020 brought a wave of unprecedented events, paving the way for necessary growth and change across communities and organizations. At Balfour Beatty, we remain committed to a safe and inclusive workforce for our diverse mix of teammates, providing a place where everyone can thrive.
In recognition of this commitment and in honor of Global Diversity Awareness Month, Balfour Beatty teammates from across the nation recently took part in our inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Together Allies Summit. With nearly 11 hours of DE&I dedicated conversations and programming open to all teammates, the successful summit provided meaningful peer-to-peer discussions (led by our Employee Affinity Groups), connections and development for the entire organization.
Keynote speakers including Rep. Val Demings, Florida congresswoman, Navy Vice Adm. David L. Brewer III, president and chief executive officer of The Brewer Leadership Group, LLC, and Deborah Elam, former General Electric (GE) chief of diversity and GE Foundation president, also shared their insights, encouraging open and inclusive dialogue at all levels of the business and inspiring participants to challenge long-standing beliefs, blind spots and perceptions.
“A people-first culture has to be representative of everyone in our business,” says John Rempe, PE, president and chief executive officer of Balfour Beatty’s US civils operations. “Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion provides our business the opportunity to bring diverse ideas, life experiences and perspectives to the table to enhance the way we do business, build upon and represent the communities we work in.”
These crucial conversations are just the beginning.
Leon Blondin, chief executive officer of Balfour Beatty’s US buildings operations confirms our commitment to ongoing improvement: “As a business, we have shown that anything we focus on we can change. If we continue to focus on creating diversity within our business, we can make significant impacts on our moving our inclusive culture forward.”
As an industry leader, Balfour Beatty recognizes our responsibility to pursue a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace with the same tenacity and accountability we hold for other workplace objectives such as safety or operational excellence.
In addition to continuing constructive conversations within our own organization, we are committed to strengthening DE&I efforts across the construction industry. As an example, we recently joined over 100 companies across the nation to ensure workplaces are free from harassment, hazing and bullying through Associated General Contractors’ (AGC) newly formed Culture of CARE program. The pledge is designed to help contractors create a more welcoming workplace environment for teammates, particularly those from diverse backgrounds, and provide tools and resources to help establish a caring team culture.
We are determined to harness the powerful momentum born out of the events of 2020. By working as a unified, diverse team we will drive the necessary improvements and lasting change to solidify a truly inclusive culture where EVERYONE can thrive.
With the full support of our teammates and leadership, we will continue to champion greater diversity equity and inclusion throughout our industry and all the communities where we live and work.