Celebrating Pride Month
Pride Month is not just about rainbows and flags. It’s a celebration of individuality and an annual reminder that we all have a role to play in inclusion. Our actions and words play a role in building psychological safety for those around us. The construction industry is more inclusive than ever, but there is still work to be done.
In recognition of Pride Month, we invite you to hear from DPR employees about their perspectives on the progress they are seeing in the construction industry in support of the LGBTQIA+ community, what it means to them and in what ways the industry still has room to grow.
How is the industry changing?
“DPR doesn’t view discussions on inclusion and incorporating nondiscrimination policies to protect our community as a ‘nice thing to do,’ rather as core to our beliefs and values. There is plenty of room for growth, but my hope is that one day those who identify as part of LGBTQIA+ community can feel comfortable working in construction and we won’t have to think twice when talking about our partners or need to correct others when they misgender them, or even if we’ve been misgendered ourselves. The industry is heading in the right direction and every small step counts. It’s not about being okay with change; it’s about being the change.”
Carlos Hurtado, Project Manager
“We’ve learned that the special sauce of a team operating at a high level is mutual trust and a common understanding of psychological safety. This means that each individual contributor is seen as a whole human. Employees are accepted completely and valued for their unique career and life experiences that add to the team's ability to succeed. Within our industry, increased focus on psychological safety and conversations around mental health have had a positive impact on the LGBTQIA+ community. For all of us to do what our industry expects of us, there is no place for discrimination. Rather, the more diverse sets of experience we can draw from, the better off we will be.”
Chris Clayton, Project Executive
“I started in the construction industry in the late ‘90s. In that climate, the idea to ‘bring your authentic self to work’ was not even a phrase, let alone an established practice. We have come a long way since then, but we still have a long way to go. The industry has made more progress on the administrative side, as we have more benefits, rights, and allies helping to bring acceptance and move toward understanding. I feel that the craft worker experience, including the ability to feel safe about a non-typical sexual identity or orientation, still needs a lot of work and focused efforts. I am in a place personally with my own acceptance and security, and in working at a company that wants to do better, I feel that I am obligated and privileged to bring my authentic self to work so that I can make it better today, tomorrow and in the future for those generations yet to come.”
Michelle Gray, National Environmental Health and Safety Leader
“I have seen many advancements in the construction industry in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Having a personal investment in DEI, the most meaningful industry changes for me have been celebrating Pride Month internally and externally and curating educational and awareness resources for our workforce. Not only because it’s part of my role at DPR, but I hope we continue to create more safe spaces to encourage others to be Out and Proud within our industry and educate people to become allies and better support one another. Having spent time on both project sites and in the office, I do feel more comfortable being 'out' in the office setting. There, being surrounded by my internal peers, means spending time with those who have had more exposure to learn about DEI. This is where education and awareness, allyship, and bystander intervention become really powerful!”
Tiara Cypress, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager
Learn about the origins of Pride Month and the history of the LGBTQIA+ community. Start here:
Stonewall Riots on history.com
Posted on June 9, 2023
Last Updated July 24, 2023