Together, building a culture of belonging, every day.
Kitchell believes in justice and equality. It is our responsibility to hold ourselves accountable to this statement, today and always.
We are dedicated to listening and educating ourselves to better understand issues of underrepresented communities. We are taking an intentional path to learning, supporting and growing our knowledge as it relates to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI).
Fostering a spirit of respect and inclusion helps our employee-owners grow personally and professionally, lending to greater success for Kitchell, the industry and our communities. Through our words and actions we support and celebrate an environment that values diversity, promotes equity and cultivates a sense of belonging as it relates to gender, race, age, ethnicity, education, sexual identity and perspective. Although we have work to do, we are taking an intentional path in encouraging different experiences, ideas and backgrounds.
To help educate and broaden the understanding of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) among our workforce, we customized a comprehensive, three-part video training program with highly regarded expert in the field. His ability to draw on personal experience, legal background and role as an instructor of social justice courses at ASU and BYU law schools provided the right mix to resonate with our employee-owners, who are comprised of a wide range of political opinions and experiences. The feedback on the courses has been overwhelmingly positive, encouraging healthy dialogue and interactions among job sites and office teams – even extending to conversations at home.
Prompted by the civil unrest of the past few years, we initiated a series of “Let’s Talk Diversity” sessions among Kitchell leaders and employee-owners from underrepresented groups. Scheduled bi-monthly, the talks are conducted in Live Teams format, inviting a dialogue between two individuals with our employee-owners listening in and submitting their own questions for discussion. Focused discussions are on issues impacting black, Asian American and LGBT communities. These events have gone a long way in broadening awareness and understanding of issues facing underrepresented groups.
Diversifying the industry
We have developed purposeful strategies in all our markets to solicit more diversity within the industry, including:
Construction Inclusion Week: We were a participant in the inaugural Construction Inclusion Week, a consortium of large international builders dedicated to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the industry. Through this effort we advocated for more understanding and awareness through our Kitchell-owned social channels and promoted what we are doing internally to advance the industry.
Trade partners: We are active in BuildOUT California, which is an alliance of California-based LGBT vendors in the building industry. Spearheaded by a group that includes one of our employee-owners, the group has a strong alignment with the Associated General Contractors of California and is actively engaged in targeting LGBT-owned/certified firms to be included in the procurement pipeline for contract pursuits and contracts.
Recruitment: We have expanded our recruitment efforts to diversify our talent, participating in career fairs at historically black colleges with construction programs as well as the National Society of Black Engineers. We are also involved with Hiring Our Heroes, the Phoenix Job Corps and Carpenter Apprentice Programs as a way to introduce candidates to the construction industry.
Internships: We recently engaged with the Boys & Girls Club YouthForce program to encourage young people to pursue careers in the building industry, by exposing 18-plus-year-olds who are aging out of the traditional program and providing paid internships, hoping to create a long-term path to employee ownership.
Education: We developed a STEM-based curriculum about the construction industry for a Sacramento-based nonprofit, Square Root Academy, that works with middle-school-age children. The program is designed to introduce underrepresented youth to the industry.
These initiatives are just a few of the works underway to help us be better as it relates to DEI. We are eager to share our programs and successes alongside our clients, partners and colleagues as we work toward a more inclusive and accepting industry.