A Dynamic Leader for Greater DE&I

by Balfour Beatty

August 23, 2023

At Balfour Beatty, diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is prioritized in everything we do. From recruiting and hiring practices to trade partnerships, internal employee programs and more, we aim to ensure our teammates and partners feel safe, respected and accepted in the communities where we work.

In Seattle, the team at Howard S. Wright (HSW), a Balfour Beatty company, is championing their commitment to diversity and inclusion by hosting Diverse Partner Engagement meetings. Spearheaded by Director of BIM/VDC Elizabeth Angel, these outreach meetings create opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses and enterprises (SMWBEs) to have one-on-one interactions with our expert teammates.

The larger Diverse Partner Engagement meeting will happen every other year and other engagement and outreach opportunities, whether virtual or in-person, will continue to occur throughout the year to support project needs.

At these events, SMWBE representatives get to know the HSW team, learn about upcoming project partnership opportunities, best practices for marketing their firms, contract terms and more. Access to these invaluable resources and relationships will ultimately help these firms grow and thrive.

“I appreciated everyone’s willingness to engage with its diverse partners,” said one recent Diverse Partner Engagement attendee. “The team was open to conversations and engaged with their guests, making me feel like they are truly open to new partnerships.”

Collaboration Coast-to-Coast

To help broaden her knowledge, Elizabeth has intentionally collaborated with teammates who lead the company’s DE&I efforts from coast-to-coast. Through active knowledge sharing, Elizabeth has been able to plan more impactful events for the local Puget Sound trade community, gain valuable insights into reporting tools and develop a robust network of support.

Goal Setting and Relationship Building

As she moves forward, Elizabeth has established many goals including reaching out to new diverse trade contractors and businesses with which HSW has not previously partnered. To foster these relationships, she regularly attends National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC) and Northwest Minority Builders Alliance (NWMBA) events and helps mentor and support efforts for the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council (NWMMSDC).

“The Diverse Partnership Engagement meetings are dynamic and meaningful opportunities,” says Elizabeth. “We want to raise awareness about upcoming bids, but more than that, we want diverse businesses to know we are proactively advocating for their success.”

Moving forward, the Seattle team recognizes the importance of proactively seeking out other meaningful opportunities to support SMWBEs. In the same way that Zero Harm is a never-ending journey, we believe our work with DE&I must be ongoing.

“If we can make one individual or business in our community feel seen and connected, we know we’re on the right path,” says Elizabeth.

To learn more about the Diverse Partnership Engagement meetings in Seattle or how to attend, reach out to Elizabeth Angel