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Blog | Feb 28, 2022

Sharing Black Team Member Perspectives

With Black History Month coming to a close, we are proud to recognize some of our HITT team members who were gracious enough to share their perspectives and experiences as Black construction professionals. We’re taking time to listen to and learn from their personal stories as we continue to recognize the central role of African American people within the built environment for Black History Month and beyond.

When asked what mentorship means to him, Senior Superintendent Donovan Bennett shared, “It’s not about what you do for yourself, it’s about what you do for others. Previously, I had someone not want to help me because they were after the same position as me. I use how I felt at that time as my motivation to help others. I mentor other team members and lift them up because I know success is rooted in inclusion and everyone doing well.” 

Superintendent Tony Brown talked to us about what Black History Month means to him, sharing, “I’m grateful for a month dedicated to celebrating my culture and enlightening my team members. However, as a man of color, I celebrate the innovations of Black people year-round—and hope my friends and colleagues do the same! When we understand each other better, we make an unstoppable team. If I could tell everyone one thing, it would be to genuinely respect each other’s different perspectives and backgrounds because diversity in thought makes for a healthier workplace.”

Director of Safety Julieanne Mason spoke with us about her experience as a Black woman in construction sharing, “I remember a time at a previous employer when a manager wouldn’t let me present or participate in interviews and client meetings, saying it was because I was too new to the industry. However, seeing other people my age, of other races, given the same opportunity didn’t sit right with me. I worked twice as hard to prove myself by furthering my education, obtaining highly-recognized safety and construction certifications, and taking on any stretch assignments sent my way so no one could ever doubt my abilities.” 

When asked for any words of wisdom to leave us with this Black History Month, Superintendent Peter Adediran shared, “I want to remind everyone that we are not all that different from one another. The takeaway I always come back to after traveling is that despite how different we may look, everyone has similar wants and needs in life. That’s what I love about construction. Everyone on the jobsite shares a common goal to build – and build well – despite everyone’s different background, race, religion, etc. There’s enough room at the table for everyone.” He also noted, “Diversity in the HITT team member body only elevates our innovations and furthers progress.”

We’re grateful to our team members for sharing their insights with us for Black History Month.

Learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion at HITT here.

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