4 Ways More Workplace Diversity Can Help You Better Recruit — and Compete


By Jaime Sessions, NRCA

The roofing industry workforce shortage is driving roofing contractors to create recruitment and retention strategies. Diversity and inclusion are critical elements to this initiative to help generate a competitive advantage and catalyst for growth.

The National Roofing Contractors Association, National Women in Roofing and the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce are hosting the inaugural Diversity + Inclusion Forum Tuesday, April 21, at Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with Roofing Day in D.C. 2020.

The forum will examine the topics of diversity and inclusion with three sessions led by roofing industry experts. Here are four ways experts say roofing companies can begin to diversify to better recruit — and compete.

  1. Strategize

    “Delivering through Diversity,” a 2018 McKinsey & Company study, shows companies with more diverse teams outperform those with a more uniform workforce. But diversity alone is not as powerful without inclusivity. Regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or age, inclusion in the work environment ensures all individuals are treated fairly, respectfully and equally, which enhances employee engagement, productivity and satisfaction.Although diversification strategies have become more common during the past 10 years, companies often are not fully implementing their diversification efforts in conjunction with inclusion to support their future initiatives.

    Diversity + Inclusion Forum 2020 will help attendees identify ways to engage underrepresented groups, develop resources to increase cultural competency, and understand why supporting diversity and fostering a culture of inclusion is a business imperative to strengthen the workforce. During the event, dynamic industry leaders and stakeholders will discuss sustainable strategies for advancing diversity and inclusion and share best practices regarding how to effectively lead in a diverse and inclusive culture. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to meet and network with fellow roofing and industry professionals from throughout the U.S. who also are striving to achieve inclusive, culturally diverse and competent workforces.
  2. Engage

    Leah Maguire, vice president of inclusion and diversity for Owens Corning, Toledo, Ohio, will lead a session about why inclusion and diversity are essential to foster high-performing teams. “High-performance teams that advocate for diversity and inclusive behaviors and include a diversity of age, gender, race and ethnicity, or geographic and national culture, allows the company to better serve its consumers,” Maguire says. “In addition to a mixture of age, gender, and cultural backgrounds, cognitive diversity, which is mixing people together with different thinking styles, habits and perspectives, often allows teams to achieve better outcomes and become much more multidisciplinary.”

    Maguire will demonstrate how collaboration becomes a tool to access a company’s “why” in more distinctive and boundless ways, ultimately aligning the company internally and externally with its customers.The forum will continue with an explanation regarding how equity, inclusion and diversity affects a company’s bottom line."

  3. Progress

    Diverse and inclusive workplaces ultimately impact the bottom line in numerous ways,” says Julian Francis, president and CEO of Beacon Building Products, Herndon, Va. With a glimpse into his session topic, Francis reveals “diversity supports business performance by helping companies generate unique ideas that can improve the quality of decision making. And individual identities shape how people experience, learn, and perceive the world, which is then reflected in the different perspectives and skillsets they bring.”

    Francis will share how this new source of insight and talent sparks creativity and leads to the formation of new ideas, which ultimately helps businesses progress.The day will end with an industry board of six panelists who will steer a discussion about how to lead in a diverse and inclusive culture to give you deeper insights into yourself, your team and the benefits of inclusion at all levels in your organization. Panelists will share best practices, as well as insights and strategies to develop competencies and get tools to create an environment fueled by engagement and innovation. 

  4. Empower

    The roofing industry needs to allocate resources and training to attract employees who have the right aptitude and attitude to fill the workforce gap. The benefits of a diverse, inclusive workforce empower employees by respecting and appreciating what makes them different and fuel productivity and profitability for an organization to reach its marketplace goals.

    In today's extremely competitive yet socially conscious business environment, one of the best ways to sustain an innovative organization is to create an inclusive and diverse organization. When a company creates a culture that celebrates diversity and inclusion, they are often faced with barriers within and outside their organization.

    But leading in a diverse and inclusive culture gives you deeper insights into yourself, your team, and the benefits of inclusion at all levels in your organization.