Why a Diverse Workforce Matters for the Environmental Services Industry
Feb 26, 2019 -
There are many industries where finding skilled professionals is difficult, but the drilling and environmental services industry is one of the hardest. In past blog posts, I’ve discussed a few different ways to attract and recruit people—everything from improving your status as a potential employer, partnering with schools to develop students into future job candidates, learning employee motivations, engaging with veterans, and recognizing how unconscious bias might be influencing your hiring decisions. These are all important, but we must recognize and address another major industry issue: we need to attract a more diverse workforce.
If you look at the faces in your company, they probably don’t reflect the general population. If it did, here’s a small peek into what it would look like according to the US Census Bureau:
- 51% of your employees would be female
- 61% of your staff members would be white, 18% would be Hispanic or Latino, 13% would be African-American, and 6% would be Asian
- 6% would be veterans
You may be asking why diversity is important, and there’s a simple reason: if we don’t build up and recruit a workforce that pulls from all of these different groups, we are limiting the talent pool and growth needed to maintain a sustainable workforce in the next 10+ years.
In 2019, Cascade has taken two steps to ensure we understand and act upon the importance of this issue. The first step was to add diversity as one of our company’s core values. That means that diversity is a front-and-center priority, alongside safety, excellence, passion, growth and working together for One Cascade.
The second step we took was, with the support and endorsement of our CEO, establishing the Cascade Diverse Workforce Initiative (CDWI).
The CDWI is led by a group of Cascade employees who lead, advocate for, coordinate, inform and/or monitor the strategic diversity management process at Cascade. The sole and primary objective of the leadership council is to provide an environment where there is room for a diverse workforce to thrive personally and professionally. To do this, they will be focusing on three primary areas:
- Buy-In – In order for the CDWI to be successful, we need to educate our employees about diversity, provide a safe environment for concerns or recommendations to be voiced, and a way to float the best recommendations to leadership for potential adoption. The first step in accomplishing all these tasks is getting buy-in from our teams.
- Communication – Goals and metrics for success are key, and the CDWI will be working to establish their KPIs for marketing and outreach in local communities.
- Education – No matter best intentions, it’s easy for companies to build hiring processes and compile benefits packages that unintentionally leave certain groups out. The CDWI will conduct research on these and other topics that impact recruitment and retention to ensure we can attract a wide variety of candidates.
Our entire organization is excited about the launch of this initiative, and look forward to what we learn and accomplish in the year ahead.
If Cascade sounds like an organization you’d like to be a part of, check out our Careers page.
If you are interested in learning more about our diversity efforts, reach out to me by email.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
TALENT ACQUISITION MANAGER
Jessica Alexander is the Talent Acquisition Manager for Cascade Environmental, LLC. She holds a B.S. in Human Resource Management, B.S. in Business Administration, MBA, and Doctorate of Philosophy (ABD) in Human Resource Management. After completing ten years of military service in the United States Air Force in the Logistics and Transportation Management field, Jessica launched a distinguished career specializing in recruiting and talent development. She is passionate about the development of people and their ability to drive companies forward.