A Unique Celebration

There are a lot of organizations that talk about "celebrating diversity" in the workplace, but only a handful really take action. Gilbane Building Company is apparently one of them.

Last month, Gilbane kicked off its annual Diversity Week, a companywide focus on promoting and strengthening the role of diversity within its organization and the construction industry. This year's theme was "People. Power. Potential. Empowering All of Us Through Teamwork, Diversity and Inclusion."

Gilbane issued the following statement from William J. Gilbane, Jr., president and chief operating officer, regarding its efforts:

"Diversity is an important part of our strategic focus. During Diversity Week, we have fun together celebrating the strength that comes from our different abilities, cultures and personalities. However, our commitment to diversity is a part of how we do business every day, year-round. Through our 'Gilbane Cares' philosophy, we work together to create an inclusive work culture, environment and business model that leverages the capabilities of our diverse employee population and supplier community, delivering greater value for our employees, clients and the communities in which we work."

Employees in the company's office locations around the world commemorated the week in various ways, ranging from community service efforts such as food drives, group volunteer efforts at local shelters and fundraisers, to "getting-to-know-you" exercises such as Lunch with an Unfamiliar Friend, employee success stories and trivia contests.

In addition to its Diversity Week celebration, Gilbane recently convened the National Partners Council Forum at its Providence, RI, headquarters. The Forum - the first of its kind in the construction management industry - brought together presidents and chief executives from more than 15 minority and women-owned firms from around the U.S., along with 10 members of Gilbane's senior executive team, to discuss strategies to support the growth of minority firms to pursue, perform and deliver client-focused opportunities.

It takes a rare breed of company to not only celebrate diversity within its own organization, but to take such efforts beyond its walls and into the community at large. Kudos to Gilbane for its forward-thinking efforts.

Does your company have a unique program designed to bridge the gap between contractors and the community? If so, please contact me at becky.schultz@cygnus.com to share it!

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