Gender bias and sexual harassment are a very real problem in the construction industry. With over 10 million construction professionals in the United States, ensuring that every single worker is well-versed on appropriate workplace conduct is a monumental task, but as a contractor, you are encouraged to help your workforce abide by a strict code of conduct.
Whether male or female, your workers should treat everyone as an equal. When your workforce doesn’t respect each other, it leads to conflict in the workplace, a dip in productivity, and a severe lack of inclusion as we discussed in part one. If gender bias and sexual harassment are prevalent on your project site, consult a Charlotte contractor attorney to see how you can eliminate this issue and avoid litigation.
Evaluating the Extent of Misconduct in the Construction Industry
The world was introduced to the #MeToo movement after the news of misconduct involving Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein spread like wildfire through the media. Before long, it became apparent that Hollywood was only the beginning of a much larger problem. The United States, and many parts of the world beyond, are facing a pervasive gender bias problem. With hundreds of business, media, and academic leaders falling under intense scrutiny from the mainstream media, the time to weed out bias has arrived and all industries, the construction industry included, are making the necessary changes to combat this issue.
Case Study: Richard Meier
There has been a swath of misconduct-based revelations across various sectors of the construction industry including architecture, engineering, and contracting. In order to combat these issues, construction professionals must be willing to confront them head on to discover proactive solutions. This proved to be an effective practice in the case of Richard Meier, the award-winning architect that was accused of multiple counts of inappropriate conduct and harassment involving numerous female staff members.
When the New York Times published this story earlier this year, they effectively took a problem that seemed to be based in Hollywood and gave it an industry face. This helped open the door for others who thought their voice would be lost in the sheer size of their industry. Now, everyone has a voice.
Meier has announced that he will “step down” from his management position, but will continue to be involved with his company’s activities and operations. Is this a punishment? Or is Meier bowing out gracefully with few repercussions? The outcome of this case is still being determined by Meier and our society’s reaction.
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.