The construction industry hasn’t always been known for its diversity, but for many companies in the business, that’s starting to change. As a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Allen & Shariff understands the benefits – both for company culture and for business – of celebrating and promoting diversity in the workplace.
To be eligible for certification as an MBE firm, a main requirement is that a business be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, defined by the state of Maryland as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Women. Allen & Shariff qualifies because CEO Zack Shariff is from Pakistan, though he has lived in the United States since college.
“The purpose of the MBE is to help minority-owned enterprises have the opportunity to flourish through government contracting,” says Shariff. “I believe in it, we’ve certainly benefitted from it as a company, and we plan to bring the same excellent service we’ve provided over our 25 years in business to the variety of opportunities the MBE certification provides. But true diversity in the workplace isn’t just about a certification. It’s an intentional commitment to building a team that includes members with diverse skills, backgrounds, mindsets, and life experiences.”
The business case and the cultural case for diversity go hand in hand – research shows that a diverse workplace boosts employee engagement, job satisfaction, and performance. In addition to the numbers, there are also intangible benefits to diversity, like innovative ideas, creative problem-solving, and the ability to avoid doing things the way they’ve always been done. As an engineering firm with a diverse commercial client base, creative problem solving by team members that work well together is essential. Different ages, levels of experience, areas of expertise, and cultural backgrounds both challenge and inspire our best work.
Learn more about the Allen & Shariff team.