With Black History Month having concluded in February, Women’s History Month taking place in March, and Diversity Month upcoming in April, this feels like the appropriate time to share our perspective on the importance of diversity and inclusion with our employees, our client partners, and the community we all serve.
Traffic Plan’s mission goes beyond keeping people safe in work zones. Our goal is to make lives better through progress and purpose, and we can’t achieve that without having a steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion. As a women-owned business, we are passionate about having a workplace culture where diversity is embraced and where everyone is treated as an equal — regardless of gender, race, or religion. These principles represent the core values of our organization, and in today’s unsettled world, they are more important than ever. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to carry out our greater mission of making lives better. That starts with treating our coworkers, customers, and the general public with kindness and professionalism at all times.
To bolster efforts to ensure workplace diversity, Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission now requires utility companies to publish workforce diversity numbers in annual reports. The reports include breakdowns by race, ethnicity, gender, age, veteran status, and disability status. “Diversity and inclusion within the utility industry are not just important because of the tremendous impact they have on both employees and the financial health of the utility. Ultimately, diversity and inclusion efforts impact the manner in which utility customers are served,” PSC Chair Rebecca Cameron Valcq said in a statement (source). At Traffic Plan, we value this effort and believe access to this type of information will ensure diversity is a part of every company’s culture.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in our communities, but its effects have hit minority populations especially hard. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2.1 million women have left the workforce completely since February 2020. Of those women, 22% were Black mothers, 20% were Asian mothers, and 19% were Hispanic mothers. A study by WerkLabs and the Mom Project states that this is a result of issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and women’s need to leave their careers to support their families (source). This is an understandable outcome of the pandemic, but this trend will require close attention as our communities begin to open up again and children return to school in person. Traffic Plan stands ready to welcome these women back to the workforce.
At Traffic Plan, we support diversity and inclusion transparency, and we are committed to looking harder at cultural truths. We will continue to dive into history, review current trends, and set ourselves and our communities up to propel forward and reduce the systemic disadvantages minorities face today.