Giovanna Brasfield (Dr. G) has been raising her hand for the construction industry for two decades and when her hand goes up, she does not put it down until she sees results! Dr. G is an accomplished diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) advocate with over 18 years of experience in construction. Her focus is on leadership and DEI program development, training, education, and outreach for the construction industry. Dr. G drives organizations to go beyond just talking the DEI talk by taking actionable steps to create culturally diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces.
Being known as a change agent and disruptor is not just a fun title for Dr. G. Rather, it is a responsibility, a commitment, and one of the many reasons that she has already cemented her lasting legacy in the construction industry. She is passionate about changing the imagery of what is typically pictured of a “construction worker,” so that every person, regardless of color or gender, has a visual representation and a better chance of creating a dream! If a young person cannot see a reflection of themself having already achieved success in this industry, then what are the chances they can picture achieving it themself? “I think about an example. I had a chance to go to a high school and I was doing a presentation, talking about construction and kind of my journey, and just sharing with them how I got involved in construction. And one of the girls came to me afterwards and they’re like, “Wow, that was great. We don’t get a chance to see very many African American women that are at your status in the organization overall,” and I’m like, wow, perspective,” Brasfield explained. Dr. G went on to explain that we need empathy and understanding so that our differences can make us better as a team, in order for us to make the necessary strides as an industry.
Being known as a person of action must be very rewarding to Dr. G, but her genuine intentions for actual change is what makes her movement so powerful! Her goal is more than just wanting to check boxes or talk about how we can improve DEI – she wants to see the results for herself. “I’ve had a lot of speaking events this year, but my ask is, I want it to be some kind of coming back and seeing change. I don’t want to just do one speaking thing,” she says. This kind of results-driven and humble eye-on-the prize resolve is extremely rare for an executive, but one of the main reasons we, as construction peers, get to see change happening in the efforts of diversity and inclusion, rather than just hearing about the plans to make it happen. Thank you Dr.G for leading from the front and being a woman of action that our industry needs!
- 7 Principles of Construction Success by Henry Nutt, III : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09SVVH5BT/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_T92AAB95Q407JJ6QWH32
- RAND CAREP/Wabash partnership (videos and guiding documents on safe/brave spaces and belonging): Wabash & RAND Collaboration, 2021-2022 | Wabash College
- Autodesk https://www.autodesk.com/autodesk-university/content/Diversity-Builds-Workforce-Tomorrow-Giovanna-Brasfield-2021
- Autodesk: https://constructionblog.autodesk.com/dr-giovanna-brasfield-vice-president-of-diversity-inclusion-flatiron/
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