Racism on the jobsite: How hate erodes construction’s bottom line


Industry leaders say that eliminating racist actions and attitudes in construction is the right thing to do. Here are five other reasons.

As 2020 enters its final months, the construction industry is grappling with how to deal with overtly racist acts in its midst, even as George Floyd’s and Breonna Taylor’s deaths at the hands of police have spurred a broader reckoning with racism in the United States and around the world.

From nooses hung on display in work areas to verbal harassment to racist graffiti in port-a-potties, there have been nearly 20 reported incidents of hate and discrimination on North American jobsites this year. (For a recap of some of the most recent jobsite episodes, see Construction Dive’s Racist Incidents Timeline).

But racist attitudes and actions are nothing new in the construction industry.

2. Racism makes a jobsite more dangerous than it needs to be

Disengaged employees on construction sites pose another risk to profits in terms of safety, experts say.

“Safety and trust are deeply connected in construction,” said Allison Glussi, director of human resources at New York-based Bright Power, a provider of energy and water management systems for building owners. “You need to know that where safety is concerned, your co-worker is going to do their job. But if people are expressing hate on the jobsite, how can you feel confident and trust that they will keep you safe?”

Read the full article on Construction Dive’s website.