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Driving Meaningful Change at Groundbreak 2022: Top Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Sessions

During Groundbreak 2021, Morgan Stanley’s Carla Harris discussed why having an inclusive culture rooted in belonging is more important than ever before. For construction companies facing a competitive hiring market, creating a workplace that celebrates people’s differences and unique experiences is a top driver for engagement and retention.

“While we have had corporate cultures where people could certainly exist, this idea of belonging, which I would argue is the holy grail, was never right in view for leaders. Now, frankly, it is an imperative,” said Harris.

Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) have always been embedded into Groundbreak, our annual global construction technology conference. From keynotes and breakout sessions to a new “Inclusion Lounge” dedicated to fostering connection, Groundbreak offers thought leaders and construction professionals an important opportunity to facilitate conversations leading to more engaged, productive teams.

Next month in New Orleans on November 7-9, we’re excited to bring thousands of industry professionals together to discuss topics ranging from overcoming adversity to unlock success, building the foundation for inclusion and the power of mentorship. Here’s a breakdown of the top diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging sessions you can expect at this year’s Groundbreak.

Put Hope to Work

Robin Roberts, co-host of Good Morning America, will share her story of how overcoming adversity was crucial to unlocking her path to success. Robin will also highlight how hope is an idea that can achieve enormous results when put to work. Similar to past Groundbreak keynotes, part of this session will include a fireside chat with Procore’s Rakhi Voria, VP of Sales Development, on day two of Groundbreak, Wednesday, November 9 at 4:00 p.m. CST. In addition to Robin’s keynote, top Groundbreak sessions focused on DEIB are outlined below:

Day 1: Tuesday, November 8

11:45 AM CST Creating Opportunity for Historically Underrepresented Groups in Construction

Hear from the construction association leaders who are working to enable the success of minority contractors and diversify the future talent pipeline. As we look toward the work ahead, learn about the trailblazing programs and partnerships turning opportunity into action.

11:45 AM CST DEI & the Infrastructure Act: Paving the Way Towards an Inclusive Future

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) includes $550 billion in new investments for roads and bridges, water infrastructure, resilience, internet and more. IIJA also emphasizes the need for the sector to innovate its approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). In this session, panelists will discuss ideas and actions that organizations can take to develop and evolve their DEI outcomes across IIJA projects and beyond.

2:00 PM CST Grabbing the Diversity Needle and Breaking Ground in Construction

Women in construction are shaping the built environment, yet are often held back by outdated practices and prejudices. Learn how to drive performance in a positive and impactful way by creating diverse teams that celebrate women of all backgrounds.

2:50 PM CST Construction Inclusion Week: Building the Foundation for Inclusion

Join industry leaders from DPR Construction, Mortenson and McCarthy as they discuss the second year of Construction Inclusion Week (CIW). During this roundtable conversation, you’ll learn more about why CIW was established, how it has evolved, and ways you can join efforts to attract, retain and develop the best talent for construction. Our speakers will share actionable ways to create a stronger culture of inclusion that enables everyone to thrive.

2:50 PM CST The Power of Mentorship: Supporting the Next Generation of Women Leaders

Support for gender equity is important across every industry, but especially for women in construction. Join this session to learn how mentorship can be a career game changer for women breaking into the industry. Hear personal stories of mentorship, tips for how to create access to mentorship and how you can begin empowering others.

Day 2: Wednesday, November 9

11:00 AM CST Measuring DEI Success

Although the number of women in construction has hit an all-time high of 14%, construction professionals are quitting at twice the rate of layoffs and discharges. Want to know why? Join panelists to learn more about a grassroots research project aimed at improving employee engagement and retention. You’ll hear how you can shake up these numbers in a positive way.

1:10 PM CST Women Moving the Trades Forward

What's being done to attract, recruit and retain women in the trades? These panelists will discuss their personal journey into the trades, work being done around policy changes for women and caregivers in the trades, and the work being done to ensure personal protective equipment (PPE) for women is included in standards driving the manufacturing of safety apparel for women.

2:00 PM CST Understanding the Construction Industry’s Next Generation

A new generation of talent is entering the workforce, and they’re the largest and most diverse generation ever. Attracting, retaining, and educating this generation requires change. Join this panel session to learn about the unique projects universities are building to help this generation gain experience as well as tips and tricks to help contractors find, recruit and keep Gen Z employees.

2:00 PM CST Why Minorities and Women are the Keys to Combating the Labor Shortage

Join construction experts as they share actionable steps that you and your company can take to attract, retain and recruit diverse talent while improving workplace culture.

2:50 PM CST Fight Off the Labor Shortage With Company Culture

This group of panelists will share their experiences and ideas about how culture and leadership can make a pivotal difference in the construction industry. Hear firsthand accounts of how executives are shaking up the industry to flip archaic perceptions of culture in construction. In this session, discover how construction could become an industry of choice by amplifying the message of inspirational leaders.

New This Year at Groundbreak: The Inclusion Lounge

For the first time this year, Procore’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging and Women in Construction teams are co-hosting a dedicated “Inclusion Lounge” in the Exhibit Hall. There, attendees will have the opportunity to connect, expand their network, and continue the conversation with session speakers and Procore employees. This lounge will be open throughout the event.

Register now to join us for Groundbreak and put big ideas to work.