Guest Column - TPD


DEI: Starting Small is Still a Start

Herman Lloyd, Vice President - Philadelphia Area Regional Leader

Herman Lloyd is a long-time veteran in the transportation industry, a passionate Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) advocate, and has served in several formal, dedicated DEI roles. Herman advises:

Not all of us are international A/E/C firms with vast reaches and budgets for DEI initiatives, but we all can work to make a difference… by starting from the bottom up. Because DEI is fast becoming a business imperative in the transportation industry, all of us should be looking to institute DEI into our daily business regime, even if we can’t start as big as others.

Addressing DEI is more important than ever in our ever-evolving world and workplace, even when “starting small”. Organizations, both competitor and client, are more multicultural and multigenerational than ever. Advancing women in transportation is critically important to the long-term success of companies in our domain. Additionally, Experts say the lack of a DEI program can be costly. Not focusing on it can unwittingly be a strategy for going-out-of-business.

A few tips for those who might just be getting started:

  1. This isn’t a copy and paste situation: Your plan should be customized for your company.
  1. Identify and engage key stakeholders: Start with the CEO, but also get buy-in from individuals up and down the organizational chart.
  1. Build a DEI business case: How can DEI help sell yourselves more? How will DEI provide what’s needed to keep clients happy?
  1. Account for accountability: Let Managers know at the DEI initiative's inception that their role is critical, and they are responsible for weaving DEI into their daily actions.
  1. Assess and adjust: At the outset, DEI training is not always popular and effective. Don’t be afraid to pivot.