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Gender Bias and Sexual Harassment in the Construction Industry Part 1

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Is there widespread gender bias and sexual harassment in the construction industry? A recent survey conducted by the Engineering News-Record (ENR) was administered to 1,248 respondents and the results were clear. Information collected from personal stories and points of view on sexual harassment and gender bias in the construction industry varied from extremely positive to shockingly negative.

In this four-part series, the talented construction law experts at our Charlotte construction law firm will take a look at ENR’s survey and determine the scope of gender bias and sexual harassment in the construction industry. Is your team well-versed in workplace conduct? One bad apple could lead to litigation and a derailed project, so consult a Charlotte construction attorney to see what actions you can take if you think someone on your team is acting inappropriately at work.

Confronting the Issue

The first anniversary of the #MeToo movement is the perfect time to reinforce the topic of gender bias and sexual harassment at your project sites. Unwanted physical contact and sexually-motivated interactions in the workplace need to be acknowledged so they can be stopped. These types of inappropriate behaviors were once swept under the rug and ignored, but that is no longer the case. Whether you are a male or female, it is important to report cases of misconduct in the workplace. As a contractor, you’re responsible for opening up channels of communication to encourage victims to come forward.

Creating a Culture of Inclusion

Nothing derails a project faster than misconduct. When your team feels like they can’t trust each other, they are less likely to perform tasks efficiently. If certain members of your team refuse to work with others because they don’t trust them, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay on schedule. As a contractor, you need to foster a culture of inclusion so nobody feels singled out or targeted. By doing so, you can develop talent without worrying about misconduct. If you oversee a diverse workplace, talk openly with your workers to ensure that gender bias, sexual harassment, and other discriminatory acts aren’t negatively affecting your day-to-day operations. There’s a lot of work to do.

ENR’s survey helps highlight the issue of misconduct in the construction industry. Roughly 66 percent of respondents reported that they have experienced sexual harassment or gender bias at work. This number is shocking, but it doesn’t reveal the whole problem. Sixty percent of respondents say they have witnessed it. This proves that misconduct isn’t an isolated issue, but it does prove that workers aren’t equipped with the tools or knowledge to help combat this issue.

To learn more about gender bias and sexual harassment in the construction industry, read parts two, three, and four.

If you would like to speak with a Charlotte construction lawyer, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.