Differences, Valued

25 June, 2024

A Q&A With Trisha Carter, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At Bohler, our unique experiences and perspectives are not only accepted, they are valued. It’s through these differences that we offer new ideas and different ways of thinking. This sparks innovation, creativity, and better problem-solving—all critical elements we need to deliver for our clients.  

In this spirit, we are excited to introduce Trisha Carter, our Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I). With a wealth of industry knowledge, spanning hospitality, finance, construction, and software, Trisha is at the forefront of advancing Bohler’s DE&I initiatives. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Trisha about her journey to Bohler, her insights on DE&I, and her vision for the future of these crucial efforts at our company. Join us as we look into her inspiring story and the impact of her work. 

How did you get involved in DE&I  

I was a former consultant for Big Four Accounting firms, so I have always been on the front lines of change when it comes to helping companies navigate how they can better support employees. My work focused on human capital, which was essentially working to create meaningful employee experiences and transforming HR through people and technology.  

As a woman of color, it’s always been important for me to feel a sense of identity rather than total assimilation, so I was very involved in Employee Resource Groups (ERG). Because of my active participation in these groups, I began to move into ERG leadership roles before scaling and supporting similar work for clients.  

I was often the sole voice of underrepresented groups among my peers, so I had to develop additional skills like empathy, cultural humility, and an understanding of structural inequity that, over time, became expertise in DE&I.  

How do you describe DE&I?

I break down DE&I this way. Diversity is a fact, evident in the varied backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders of employees. Equity is then the response to diversity, ensuring that employees have equal access to similar positions, opportunities, and resources. Inclusion, then, is the result of diversity and equity, measuring whether employees feel welcome and if they can be their authentic selves at work.  

As someone new to the civil engineering world, I see Bohler’s welcoming and accepting environment as a green flag. It shows that diversity is a reality here, which excites me, and lends itself to additional areas of equity and inclusion.  

What is your vision for DE&I at Bohler?

A well-done DE&I approach is so engrained in the business that it’s simply part of the company fabric. The Bohler Way provides a great foundation and as I continue to meet local teams and regional leaders, I’m excited to learn their unique visions for DE&I in their respective areas. 

Our ERGs have also been a strong starting point for Bohler’s DE&I efforts. After organizing across the groups, we have started to plan events and in-person gatherings for the second half of the year. My goal is to continue connecting employees to our ERGs and connecting different ERGs with each other to enhance inclusion and build community.  

ERG events have already proven impactful, as demonstrated by our recent events hosted by the Black Professional Network and the Women’s Professional Network. I’ve heard from people not affiliated with those ERGs that they enjoyed the events, learned a lot, and got different perspectives. To me, that is progress in our DE&I efforts, and we will continue to progress, event after event and year after year.  

How does DEI improve employee performance and project outcomes?

When employees feel valued and included in the workplace, they are more engaged and motivated to perform at their best. DEI initiatives can significantly enhance performance and project outcomes in various ways. 

  • Increased Creativity and Innovation: Diversity in perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences fosters a more creative and innovative work environment. Employees from diverse backgrounds bring unique ideas and approaches to problem-solving, leading to more innovative solutions and better project outcomes.
  • Broader Skill Sets: A diverse team brings together individuals with a wide range of skills and expertise. This diversity allows teams to tackle complex projects more effectively by drawing on a broader pool of talent and knowledge.
  • Better Decision-Making: Inclusive teams are better equipped to make well-rounded and informed decisions. By incorporating diverse perspectives and experiences, teams can identify potential blind spots, consider a wider range of options, and ultimately make better choices for themselves and their clients.
  • Improved Problem-Solving: Diversity of thought leads to more robust problem-solving processes. When teams approach problems from different angles and viewpoints, they are more likely to identify creative solutions and anticipate potential challenges.
  • Attracting and Retaining Talent: Companies that prioritize DEI initiatives are more attractive to top talent, including individuals from underrepresented groups. Moreover, inclusive work environments are more likely to retain employees in the long term, reducing turnover costs and maintaining continuity on projects.

Overall, an investment in DEI can lead to a more inclusive, productive, and successful work environment, driving improved employee performance and project outcomes. DEI initiatives create a sense of belonging and psychological safety, leading to higher job satisfaction and increased productivity. 

How does DEI benefit the land development industry? 

I believe Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives can profoundly benefit the land development industry in several ways. 

Diversity in perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences fosters more innovative and sustainable land development solutions. Different stakeholders contribute unique insights and approaches to urban planning, architecture, engineering, and environmental design, leading to more creative and effective outcomes for our projects. Additionally, these initiatives enhance inclusivity and engagement with the diverse communities affected by land development. Involving people from various backgrounds in the planning process allows developers to gain valuable insights into community needs and preferences, resulting in more successful and socially responsible developments. 

In my experience, companies that prioritize DEI initiatives are more attractive to clients, investors, and partners who value diversity and social responsibility. By demonstrating a commitment to diversity and inclusion, Bohler can differentiate itself in the market, attract new client opportunities, and build stronger relationships with stakeholders. 

Ready to be valued? Check out our open positions.

At Bohler, supporting DEI initiatives is what makes our work truly unrivaled. By embracing inclusivity, innovation, and sustainability through our development projects, we drive positive social, environmental, and economic outcomes in the land development industry. 

Companies that prioritize DEI initiatives are more attractive to top talent, including individuals from underrepresented groups. Moreover, inclusive work environments are more likely to retain employees in the long term, reducing turnover costs and maintaining continuity on projects.   

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