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president's letter

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Martin Brookes, NTCA President
Martin G. Brookes
, NTCA President
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The tile industry is expected to continue expanding in 2021 as markets recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Growth in the industry provides an opportunity to expand our membership and to promote a more diverse construction workforce. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, 10.3% of construction professionals were women, 6.4% Black/African American, 1.9% Asian, and 30.4% Hispanic or Latino. The underrepresentation of women and some racial/ethnic minority groups in the construction industry provides an opportunity to expand the tile construction workforce using more diverse hiring criteria. Fostering the culture of a diverse workplace can be good for business by expanding the creativity and problem-solving skills among the workforce, which can result in increased productivity and profitability. Moreover, an organizational culture of diversity and inclusion can help to retain employees and build the company’s reputation with clients and the industry. In May of 2020, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) launched a nationwide program to expand the diversity of the industry by making jobsites more inclusive. This new program will assist businesses by providing training and human resources practices designed to create more inclusive workplaces. The program is called CARE (Commit, Attract, Retain and Empower). Our association, like the AGC, is committed to promoting diversity among the tile construction workforce and leadership of the NTCA. Our association will look for opportunities to work with other organizations such as the AGC to advance our mission to create a more diverse and inclusive construction industry. The NTCA publications are vehicles that we use to connect with our membership to communicate our mission, new developments in the industry, and showcase our artistic work. In this month’s issue of the TileLetter, Editor Lesley Goddin spotlights women who are rising stars in the tile industry. This is an ideal time for the industry to attract women to the NTCA, and we are proud these women represent our industry. We will continue to look for ways that we can support these leaders in our field. I am confident that our industry will, over time – with your active involvement – become a thoroughly diverse and inclusive place, and in doing so it will alleviate the industry’s labor shortage, increase bottom lines, and have a positive impact on employees, communities, and shareholders. I look forward to working with you and the NTCA leadership in advancing our goal of having a more diverse and inclusive workforce.