Delta Days: SWE Welcomes Diversity

Faye Wilson Tate, Vice President and Director for Global Diversity and Inclusion at CH2M HILL, spoke on the importance of workplace diversity. She focused on how CH2M HILL “strives to create an environment that values differences and similarities in employee backgrounds and skills.” Tate also discussed reasons why diversity and inclusion is strategic and important to every company.

Being an employee-owned company, CH2M HILL takes great pride in the way they “promote a culture that encourages every individual to contribute to its growth and business success.” Tate explained how diversity is becoming increasingly important in the workplace. “Nowadays, everyone is focused on diversity,” she said.

One of the ways in which CH2M HILL uses diversity in a strategic way is in its client meetings. “We want to ensure our team represents the client,” said Tate. “So we’re going to take our men, our women, and if we’re in DC, we’re going to take some black people!” Being able to relate to the client is important to winning their business.

Diversity and inclusion at CH2M HILL extends far beyond the boundaries of the United States. When employees plan to travel to another country, they first make sure to learn more about the country’s culture. This helps to prevent accidentally offending the client. Tate stressed the importance of focusing on the cultural aspect just as much as the technical aspect when on business travel. “Because everybody doesn’t do it like we do in the United States, which I found out when I went to the UK for the first time,” Tate laughed.

In addition to cultural diversity, CH2M HILL is also sensitive to multi-generational differences. They try to keep senior employees engaged by asking them to mentor the younger employees, thus giving the former a chance to pass down knowledge they have gained while working.

To promote employee involvement in the diversity and inclusion movement, CH2M HILL utilizes what are called Employee Network Groups. Tate explained that these groups work to attract, develop, and retain their valuable employees. Some of the different groups include the Hispanic Employee Network Group, the Women’s Network, and the GLBT Allies, to name a few.

Job-seekers should to know what they value in a workplace. While CH2M HILL provides many opportunities for employee engagement in diversity, many more companies are beginning to emphasize the importance of inclusion and diversity.

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