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The ACEC Research Institute has released its first-ever Diversity Roadmap, the culmination of a six-month process designed to help member firms execute against their diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) goals. Launched in Summer 2023 and sponsored by the Zweig Group, the Roadmap is a comprehensive, data-driven tool that assesses the maturity of a firm’s DEIB program. Using these data, the tool then provides actionable suggestions on how firms can make further progress on their diversity journeys. In short, the tool doesn’t just tell firms how well they are doing. It tells them how they can do better.

To participate in the Roadmap, firms were asked a series of questions about their practices and policies in a variety of areas: Workplace, Workforce, Marketplace, and Supplier/Community. Their answers to these individual areas were scored, then aggregated to produce a final score. Scores range from Aspiring (for firms at the earliest stages of building their DEIB disciplines) to Optimizing – firms that have robust strategic programs in place. In between are firms that are Emerging or Managing, signaling solid progress but outstanding work yet to be done.

While most member firms are early in their DEIB journeys (80 percent scored as “Aspiring”), it is worth noting that nearly 200 ACEC member firms participated in the Roadmap initiative, which signals both a willingness and an appetite for creating diverse workspaces. And that appetite comes from the top of our firms. The data indicate that firm leaders show significant support for DEIB issues; the majority of responding firms have a CEO or president who articulates a commitment to these issues (68 percent always/often).

This commitment can be seen in the numbers of firms that have initiatives for creating an inclusive work environment for all employees (68 percent) and in firms that have mechanisms in place for actively recruiting diverse candidates (64 percent). Nearly half (49 percent) are seeking to broaden awareness of DEIB topics, with 42 percent of firms reporting that they communicate the importance of these issues to their employees. While 24 percent of firms report having no DEIB initiatives, these firms’ participation in the Study would seem to signal at least some level of interest.

And it’s not too late for firms that are interested in participating in the Roadmap but have not yet entered their data. The tool was closed for responses in advance of the ACEC Fall Conference but has been reopened and will stay open through the end of the year.  If your firm would still like to participate, please contact to receive your login information if you don’t have it. The deadline to submit 2022 data is Dec 31, 2023. Submitting by the end of the year will enable firms to benchmark year over year improvements when the tool opens back up for 2023 data collection in early Spring 2024.

To read the full Report, click here.

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December 5, 2023



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