The Safe from Hate Positive Jobsite Culture Pledge

The Safe from Hate Positive Jobsite Culture Pledge calls on all industry stakeholders in the construction industry to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion by directly addressing jobsite culture issues.

Prevalent racism and sexism continue to create hostile work environments, impact the retention of a skilled workforce, and disproportionately harm women, Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC). In an effort to create lasting change, the Safe from Hate Positive Jobsite Culture Pledge outlines a specific set of actions organizations commit to  take to cultivate a respectful workplace, safe from hate, racism, sexism, discrimination, harassment, and bullying, where all workers are safe, respected and have dignity at work and in the construction industry.

All signatories serve as leaders of their organizations and have committed to implementing the following pledge within their institutions and realm of influence. Where companies have already implemented one or more of the commitments, the undersigned commit to support other industry leaders in doing the same. As leaders of some of the region’s largest construction employers, unions, trade associations, and community-based organizations, we engage with and manage thousands of workers and play a critical role in ensuring that diversity, equity and inclusion are core to construction culture and that our organizations are representative of the communities we serve.

Positive jobsite culture is good for our industry’s bottom line:

  • it minimizes work stoppages and lost time
  • improves performance
  • supports safety protocols
  • enhances employee engagement
  • supports retention of a skilled workforce
  • increases health and wellness of workers
  • increases overall productivity.

Simply put, organizations with a positive jobsite culture perform better.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are multi-faceted issues which must be addressed holistically to better engage and support all workers in the industry, and in particular, those who have been historically excluded and marginalized.

For us, this means committing to four initial goals that will catalyze further conversation and action around a positive jobsite culture within the workplace and our industry, as well as foster collaboration among our organizations.

The Four Pillars of the Safe from Hate Jobsite Culture Pledge 

1. We will enforce a zero-tolerance policy:

As employers, we will work with our labor partners, subcontractors, and other stakeholders, to enforce a zero-tolerance policy, which we define as holding accountable any employee who instigates, supports, or fails to report any jobsite incidents. Recognizing that while we are all responsible for ensuring equity in our industry, apprentices have the least power, and women and BIPOC tradesworkers are most vulnerable to retaliation so it up to those in leadership to accountable. We recognize that, as industry leaders, we need to set the expectation that any hostile behavior will not be tolerated. We will do this by communicating clear protocols and enforcing real consequences, including possible removal of any relevant employees, and prompt and thorough investigation that could lead to suspensions and terminations, as aligned with any applicable collective bargaining agreements, and HR policies and as state and federal labor laws allow.

2. We will continue to work with our community partners to support and recruit diverse talent:

We recognize the value of increasing the diversity of our employees and in keeping the industry in line with current demographic trends. This is critical to remain competitive, innovative, and relevant in the 2 market. We will continue to deepen our connections to community workforce partners and pre-apprenticeship training programs, ensuring increased training, hiring and retention of their constituents.

3. We will implement and expand positive jobsite culture education on all our jobsites:

We will adopt and implement proven jobsite culture trainings. All partners committing to this pledge agree to implement the adopted positive jobsite culture training with all current employees and / or union members within six months of signing this pledge, especially prioritizing leadership within their organization.

Additional measures include:

  • All onsite employees, specifically supervisory and management, journey level craft persons and apprentices shall receive the positive jobsite culture education as part of their orientation processes, but no later than one week of their hire date
  • Apprentices will receive training within one month of their enrollment date
  • Unions will provide journeyworker “upgrade” trainings
  • Pre-Apprenticeship Training Programs will provide training to program participants in their training models
  • Employees will receive ongoing training or “refreshers” annually at a minimum

By working together, we can create the critical mass across trades and companies, thereby normalizing the complete intolerance of hostility and bullying in Construction and creating a safe, healthy, and inclusive industry where all persons are welcome and safe from hate.

4. We will cultivate retention and leadership development efforts:

Each of our organizations recognizes the high cost of workforce turnover yet we know that these figures have not improved and remain troubling. To really change the industry, we must address the lack of diversity in leadership positions. We will commit to strategies that ensure stability and career pathway growth for historically underrepresented people, including formalized mentoring efforts and improving quality training for BIPOC workers and women. Furthermore, we will commit to making promotional opportunities into leadership positions available to people of color and women.

Our Commitment

While the efforts will no doubt take time, we commit to tracking our performance and holding each other accountable to improved progress. We recognize that every organization is in a different place, but we must start somewhere. A first step is to commit to a specific Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan within our own organization and to share that with the community.

While these four commitments are not the complete answer, we believe they are important, concrete steps toward building more safe and productive workplaces. We hope our list of signatories will grow, and we invite other construction industry leaders to join us.

Let us come together to make good on the inherent promise that all of our people should be able to bring their best selves to work and unleash their full potential. By working together within our industry, we can cultivate meaningful and critical change.