Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at Benesch
“Being a diverse employee myself, I can tell you that equity, diversity and inclusion has been a passion for me my whole life. Every person should enjoy the opportunity to come to work, add value and feel valued for their contributions. Benesch has taken intentional steps to attract diverse candidates and create inclusive environments so employees can become embedded in the organization. At Benesch we are committed to providing tools that help create psychologically safe spaces where diverse teams can thrive.”
Sandra Pond | Benesch’s Chief Human Resources Officer
Benesch strives to be the company of choice for top talent. We truly believe we are only as good as the people we have and that our employees are our greatest asset. We also believe that promoting diversity within our staff isn’t just the smart thing to do from a business perspective—it’s the right thing to do, period. We want to ensure that our staff reflect the communities we serve and that our hiring and promoting practices are equitable. Everyone—from the first-generation college grad to the 20-year industry veteran—deserves access to opportunities that will further their careers.
As Benesch grows, we are committed to attracting and retaining diverse talent and sustaining an inclusive workplace where employees can develop their skills, impact their communities and become our company’s next generation of leaders. We continue to review and improve our internal processes, and we’ve set benchmark goals for increasing the number of women and diverse employees in technical and leadership positions at Benesch.
To get there, we are pursuing several EDI-focused initiatives:
Our EDI-focused initiatives
Making Meaningful Connections
Benesch has greatly expanded our campus outreach in recent years, with a focus on connecting with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and other colleges via campus diversity recruiting events, networking galas and career fairs. Within the industry, we continue to form meaningful relationships with local chapters of various organizations, including the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Women’s Transportation Society (WTS) and many others.
Providing Intentional Training
Our Learning & Development team provides EDI-focused training and enrichment opportunities to employees at every level within our company. Courses on allyship empower our employees to support each other and foster inclusive environments in every office. On-going trainings from experts in areas of diversity and unconscious bias equip our leadership teams with the tools they need to lead inclusively. Manager-level staff who participate in Benesch University development programs receive specific training in building and leading inclusive and diverse teams.
Employee engagement has been a critical component of our culture for a long time. Benesch is home to four employee-driven focus teams, including the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Focus Team, which works alongside our Human Resources Department to identify opportunities for making life at Benesch even better. In 2020, the EDI team launched Benesch’s Employee Resource Group program, which established four identity-based groups connecting co-workers across the company in pursuit of common social and professional goals.
Meet Our Employee Resource Groups
Established to build a network of members dedicated to the advancement and affirmation of all LGBTQ+ employees, Benesch Pride aims to:
- Increase the number of and visibility for LGBTQ+ employees at Benesch
- Connect with LGBTQ+ professional organizations within the AEC industry
- Ensure Benesch maintains LGBTQ+ affirming policies and is a safe workplace for LGBTQ+ employees
Established to create a cross-cultural community that celebrates cultural diversity, fosters cultural awareness and encourages inclusive dialogue, the Benesch Cultural Alliance aims to:
- Fortify cross-cultural professional relationships amongst employees
- Promote community outreach inside and outside of Benesch
- Elevate sense of belonging for all
Established to inspire others to stand together in support of mental, physical, emotional and financial disabilities, Benesch Strong Divers-ability aims to:
- Provide support and opportunities for personal growth
- Share knowledge and resources for supporting all employees and their families
- Create space for sharing personal journeys regarding disabilities
Established to foster professional growth and equitable career opportunities at Benesch, the Women of Benesch aim to:
- Build relationships via intentional networking among group members
- Support professional growth through women-focused training and mentoring
- Promote STEM fields for women in our communities outside of Benesch