with Jim Beall

The conversations surrounding diversity and inclusion are not absent from the design and construction industry, and in fact have been commonplace for quite some time. On this episode of AEC Marketing for Principals, host Katie Cash is joined by co host Donya Edler and guest Jim Beall, Chairman and CEO of Collaborative Work Environment, to discuss the Diversity Consortium and how it can help AEC clients who seek to improve their diversity inclusion, empower minority companies to compete more effectively, and position both sides at a competitive advantage in the long run.

What you’ll learn about in this podcast:

  • An overview of the Diversity Consortium and how it benefits corporate and minority businesses
  • How the Diversity Consortium is standardizing the vetting environment for corporate entities through a tiered vetting system
  • What makes the diversity consortium unique when compared to other organizations focused on helping companies find work
  • Next steps for primes and minority businesses and how they can become involved in the Diversity Consortium


Key Takeaways:

  1. How does a Diversity Consortium help from a corporate standpoint?

    • Reporting on diversity “spin”
    • Match diverse suppliers with company’s specific needs
    • Program metrics tracking
  2. How does a Diversity Consortium help from a minority standpoint?

    • Deliver greater, more accurate projects
    • Gathering insight from larger companies
    • Learn how to best position yourselves and your business to win work
  3. How can larger General Contractors provide tools and training to diverse suppliers?

    • Bringing them in-house to meet with CFO or finance team
    • Train suppliers on best marketing practices and differentiating yourselves in the marketplace
    • How to respond to RFQs and RFPs and win more work
  4. What do Owners need to know to qualify and to vet these vendors?

    • The ability to assess a supplier’s marketing message, business plan, and financial wherewithal. Evaluate customer references, packaging, and the controls and quality systems to be able to scale their work.
  5. What are some of those initial items that diversity suppliers need to have?

    • Larger, more sophisticated procurement organizations are looking for certifications, such as NMSDC for minorities or WBENC for women-owned businesses
    • The “Big Three”: the capability, the capacity, and the desire to do the work
    • Resources and the ability to scale
  6. What are some next steps for Primes and how they can best get involved in the Diversity Consortium?

    • It starts with the foundational premise that we all live, work, and play in the same community. When we recognize that we’re all here and we’re all in it together, we all struggle and help each other in the world of the business community. Human nature wants to drive both to a diverse world and to a place that I know who I can trust, I know where I can do business. Once you identify that those are the two principles that place corporates, and particularly contractors and GCs, they need to have an effort. They need to be aware of who’s in the space.