By Cheryl L. Allen-Ricciardi | Pierce Atwood LLP
I was fortunate to attend the ABA Forum on Construction Law’s fall meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from October 23 – 25, 2019. The program titled Building a Better Construction Industry through Inclusion, Diversity, and Professionalism was a first for both the Forum on Construction Law and the ABA. Never before had any ABA group dedicated an entire meeting to the topics of inclusion, diversity, and professionalism. The following ABA diversity commissions and coalitions co-sponsored the event: the Commission on Women in the Profession, the Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice, the Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities, the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, the Commission on Disability Rights, and the Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline.
The speakers in the nine plenary sessions provided a wealth of information, insight, and practical tips to both lawyers and construction professionals alike. Here are some of the highlights:
Diversity and Inclusion Problems Can Be Conquered, If You Are Willing to Commit to the Work
Unconscious bias is present not just in the construction industry and legal industry but in all industries. No one likes to be told they are biased, but everyone has their own biases and proclivities. This is natural and even understandable as Plenary #1 Speaker, Kathleen Nalty explained. The most typical type of unconscious bias is …