Where Are DiversityInc's Black Developer and Builder Stories?

DiversityInc often has stories about different industries in corporate America. But one reader wondered why DiversityInc doesn't have stories on Black developers. The White Guy explains.

Luke Visconti's Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on DiversityInc.com. Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.


Question:

I would like to know if DiversityInc has done any articles on African-American green developers and/or builders (licensed)? If so, how may I review them? If not, would that be an article you would consider?

Answer:

This sounds like an interesting idea for a story; however, the building industry is conspicuously absent when you look at our subscriber database. That means that a construction-industry article will not draw a lot of readers (we measure web-site readership quite carefully when planning our editorial coverage).

 

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From a business perspective, this makes a construction-industry article a loser for us. That's not to say that we don't purposefully plan articles that we know are important with the knowledge that they won't draw a huge audience--we do. But frankly, if the construction industry is not interested, neither am I.

Would we get more construction-industry readers if we had more articles about them? No, it doesn't work that way. Our content is mostly applicable to ANY industry. That's why we have people from so many different kinds of companies in our subscriber database, why the jobs on our career center are so diverse and why the companies on the DiversityInc Top 50 range from IBM to Disney to Monsanto.

Over the past 11 years of publishing DiversityInc.com, I've spoken at more than 1,000 events and corporation meetings, but never at Skanska, Turner, Bechtel, Bovis or any of the others. None of them are among the 352 companies that competed for a spot on our DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list last year--even though most of their major customers did. They don't advertise with us, post jobs on the career center, benchmark their diversity efforts--nothing.

Since a large public-works economic package appears to be a core item on President-elect Barack Obama's economic-recovery plan, I'm sure there will be congressional hearings about the lack of diversity in the construction industry--especially as the Democratic Party-appointed EEOC commissioners start hearing more and more complaints.

Maybe then we'll have enough people from the construction industry in our audience to make an interesting story.

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