We know that diverse teams working together in an equitable, inclusive culture provides the right environment for our employees to thrive, our clients to benefit, and our business to prosper over the long run. Our success is tied to a culture that embraces our differences and creates an environment where everyone can bring their whole, authentic selves to work. When our people are supported to reach their full potential, we provide our clients with the most innovative, sound, and cost-effective solutions.
Grassroots efforts on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) discussions and the initial development of employee resource groups (ERGs) have long been a part of Woodard & Curran’s culture. In 2016, we formally developed the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, now known as the Equity Committee, to implement measurements and business plans to improve upon the culture of inclusiveness. We have since expanded our efforts. In the fall of 2020, I was named Woodard & Curran’s first Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager. My goal is to drive our DEI strategy as a member of our Human Resources department. Additionally, the Equity Committee has evolved to include three open seats to increase employee representation at various levels of tenure across the organization.
Our strategies have touched many aspects of our business, including the review of hiring and recruiting practices, rolling out unconscious bias trainings, and conducting pay equity analyses. Here are some other highlights that reflect our DEI progress over the past few years:
- Conducted third party pay equity study in 2019 (and plan to repeat every two years) that confirmed equity considering gender and race/ethnicity;
- Internal equity review of promotions, pay increases, Incentive Compensation Plan payments, and appointments to ownership;
- Expanded recruitment at different colleges and universities;
- Created data and reporting capabilities to understand applicant pipeline;
- Expanded and modernized bias awareness as well as discrimination and harassment prevention training for new hires, employees, and managers;
- Launched seven company-wide ERGs;
- Added parental leave benefits and regularly review benefits for inclusivity;
- Launched #inclusion campaign encouraging employees to share stories;
- Changed our Board of Director criteria and qualifications for external members to broaden diverse candidate pool;
- Provided executive leadership in developing D&I changes within the ACEC community; and
- Developed candidate masking as part of the online application process.
Our DEI goals focus on communications, representation, inclusivity, and progress measurements. There are several metrics we continue to monitor regularly as part of our scorecard. Regardless, we continue to maintain transparency and awareness of the simplest data to reflect diversity – our employee and Board of Directors demographics. Below is a brief history of this data, reflecting some general trends. Since 2017, we saw a decrease in our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) population on our Board of Directors. However, our employee population at large has seen some changes in our demographics. Most notably, this increase is seen in women, employees under 35, and members of the BIPOC population. Our senior leadership positions also reflect a more equitable distribution, with women making up 45 percent of our Senior Leadership Team.