Progress on our 10 Commitments

Key to delivering our purpose

Brown and Caldwell advances a culture that seeks and welcomes different opinions, experiences, and perspectives because we know that one idea, one innovation, can change everything in our fast-moving world. Our employees throughout North America are all working to advance our purpose to make our clients, communities, and environment better—and this requires innovative solutions based on proven science and sound technology.

Game changing solutions requires an incessant stream of exploration, led by engineers and scientists with diverse ideas and testing approaches. According to a Forbes Insight study, “48% of U.S. companies strongly agree that a diverse and inclusive workforce is crucial to encouraging different perspectives and ideas that drive innovation.” Advancing Balance and Belonging in our workplace will continue to evolve in new directions as we expand our diverse ecosystem of science and thought leaders. We intentionally chart and invest in Balance and Belonging to ensure that we deliver on our purpose.

Research by Deloitte Consulting LLP found “Organizations with inclusive cultures are 6 times more likely to be agile and innovative.”

Toward the end of 2018, Brown and Caldwell’s executive leadership made a strategic investment in advancing a culture of balance and belonging by identifying 10 actionable and measurable commitments. Since then, we have made significant progress to advance these commitments, while recognizing that this is an ongoing journey, and that we have more work to do.

1. Balanced Candidate Pools

Commitment: When hiring, we will ensure a balanced candidate pool is considered.

Purpose: Driving change requires focus and intentional effort to ensure balanced and diverse candidate pools that enable our hiring managers to evaluate the best talent and hire the most qualified candidate for each position. We are focused on making hiring decisions that bring a range of diverse candidates into BC who bring different perspectives, backgrounds, and ideas, driving innovation and advancing our culture.

Progress: We post externally facing job opportunities to community organizations where our offices are located that look to attract a diverse talent pool, these organizations support Women, Minorities, Individuals with Disabilities, LGBTQIA+, and Veterans.

Opportunity: While our commitment to balanced candidate pools for hiring managers is operationalized, we see an opportunity to do better in this area, and we acknowledge a pool of diverse applicants does not always mean diverse candidate pools. Therefore, we plan to be more intentional in evaluating our recruitment process in ensuring balanced candidate pools. We have also hired a recruiter specifically focused on sourcing diverse talent.

2. Balanced Teams

Formerly Early Talent Program

Commitment: Hiring, promoting and advancing talent at all levels within the organization for all employees is imperative to BC because we strive to be a workplace for everyone. The intent of this commitment was to expand our investment in early talent programs for women and minorities. With that in mind and as it’s evolved, we have reshaped this commitment to “Balanced Teams” to ensure we identify, attract, hire and advance woman and minority talent across all levels.

Purpose: To drive more diversity within our industry, we must support diverse talent at all levels within the organization. We encourage early talent individuals from diverse backgrounds to gain interest in STEM careers, provide minority scholarships for students pursuing degrees in science and engineering, and provide internship opportunities to explore our industry, with the hope they will join our industry, work at BC, and grow their career. In addition to early talent, balanced teams are important at all levels in the organization and we are additionally focused on diversity in executive and management roles in the organization.

Progress: Hires from race/ethnic minorities and women made up 63.7% of our early talent in 2018 and 62.9% in 2019. Our goal is to continue the great work we have done with entry level hires and build diverse teams at all levels throughout the organization.

Opportunity: The Diversity and Inclusion Data metrics show progress for race/ethnic minority and women hires for functional/support hires and entry-level positions in our technical and non-technical areas. The data shows that functional support areas are the highest populated group of minorities and women, and that we need to focus on hiring more diverse talent in our entry-level technical positions and management positions.

3. Post All Jobs

Commitment: All job opportunities are posted internally, driving more opportunity for increased diversity within our candidate pools.

Purpose: We are intentional about giving employees the opportunity to learn, grow, and advance at Brown and Caldwell, while also creating a more diverse candidate pool. We strive to ensure that all employees, regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, or other protected class status, have a platform to express their interest in career opportunities and are considered for promotion.

Progress: We operationalized this commitment in 2019 with the launch of an internal Brown and Caldwell careers site. Numerous positions have been posted to this internal career site, and several qualified candidates were considered for advancement as a result.

Opportunity: While we have made significant progress in 2020, there were instances where job opportunities were not posted internally for various reasons, such as organizational restructuring. We commit to increasing the number of internal job postings to continue providing opportunities for our employees to grow, change, and advance within our workplace.

4. Annual Balance and Belonging Report

Commitment: Create an annual report that highlights and details the progress of the health of our organization, our culture of Balance and Belonging, employee stories, diversity and inclusion data, and updates on our 10 Balance and Belonging Commitments.

Purpose: Transparency is essential, and we have had interest from throughout the company, asking leadership for data, measurements, and strengthening our efforts to advance Balance and Belonging. We intend to report our progress annually and identify our progress and opportunities for improvement and actions for change. There is always room for improvement, and we are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion within our organization and the industry. As we continue this journey and report our progress annually, we celebrate our wins and address our areas for improvement.

Progress: In October 2020, our inaugural Balance and Belonging report was published with a plan to publish new data each calendar year.

Opportunity: The October 2020 report includes 2018 and 2019 data. An updated diversity and inclusion section will be published with 2020 data in Q1 of 2021. Beginning in 2022, the annual report will follow a yearly schedule, published in March of each calendar year.

5. Balanced Talent Practices

Formerly Diversity Talent Review

Commitment: This commitment was focused on an unwavering commitment to discuss diverse talent within the company in every aspect of the employee journey. We discuss diverse talent in all our talent reviews, in the selection process for all our development programs and wherever we discuss advancement opportunities. Therefore, we have reshaped this commitment to reflect the reality of our commitment more broadly to diversity advancement across all talent management practices. With that in mind, this has evolved to “Balanced Talent Practices” to better reflect our reality and commitment.

Purpose: We strive to ensure there is visibility of our underrepresented groups in our talent review processes and they are fairly evaluated and provided equal development opportunities that match their capabilities, expertise, aspirations, and potential.

Progress: Our first Diversity Talent Review was completed in 2020 and identified a set of diverse, high potential and capable leaders across the organization, leading to the creation of targeted development plans, with the goal of career progression within Brown and Caldwell.

Opportunity: While there is potential to do more with Talent Reviews to make our workplace equitable, our primary focus is to ensure the Individual Development Plans for identified employees are created, fostered, and implemented.

6. Scholarship Hires

Commitment: Be intentional about hiring Brown and Caldwell minority scholarship recipients when there is a career and qualifications fit. The scholarships offered include the Eckenfelder Scholarship, Minority Scholarship, Women in Leadership Scholarship, LGBTQIA+ Scholarship, and the Navajo Nation Scholarship.

Purpose: To advance diversity within our industry, we work to help young students and adults from diverse backgrounds to enter and stay in environmental engineering industries and build careers that help make a positive impact on the communities where we live and work. Hiring our qualified scholarship recipients enables us to continue mentoring, growing, and advancing their careers, supporting diversity within our industry.

Progress: We have awarded 49 scholarships in the past six years and have hired eight of these scholarship recipients.

Opportunity: We continue to expand our scholarship offerings and explore more opportunities to hire our scholarship recipients.


7. Executive Committee Personal Network Expansion

Commitment: Each Executive Committee member commits to at least one personal action to drive a more diverse expansion of their network.

Purpose: In our industry, the adage “it isn’t what you know, but who you know” can be true. To facilitate industry change, our executive team has acknowledged that they need to take personal steps to diversify their professional networks. Employee referrals are the number one source of hires, and to further advance diversity within our workplace and the industry, we need to ensure our executive networks are also diversified to further attract and consider balanced talent.

Progress: Our Executive Leadership Team has diversified its networks by taking at least one action. These connections will help to facilitate balance candidate pools, ensuring a healthy mix of diverse perspectives, building partnerships, and recruiting diverse talent.

Opportunity: Network expansion will provide the most significant impact on our workplace and the industry if it is a focus for all employees. We will look for opportunities to offer diverse partnerships, internships, and connections to further this commitment.

8. Diversity Recruitment Partnerships

Formerly InRoads Partnership


Commitment: Corporate diversity recruitment partnerships that provides greater access to diverse talent.

Purpose: As a community of engineers, scientists, consultants, and contractors, we believe in education and on-the-job experience. As a company devoted to STEM, early exposure to careers in our industry is critical to the future of water. We know diverse talent has a key role to play in our collective future.

Progress: We partner with InRoads, an organization that develops and places talented underserved youth in business and industry roles. Brown and Caldwell has hired and mentored interns with a passion for safeguarding water, maintaining infrastructure, and restoring habitats with the hope they will continue to advance the water industry and positively impact our communities. Inroads’ continuous leadership development of ethnically diverse students will enable us to give those students internships to further their industry experience.

Opportunity: The InRoads partnership is new, and there is an opportunity to increase our number of interns and hires to advance diversity within our workplace and the industry. We are evaluating our partnerships to accelerate our efforts in this area and looking at STEM focused diversity recruitment organizations like WISE, NSBE and SHPE.

9. Catalyst Partnership

Commitment: A corporate partnership to accelerate progress for women at work with pioneering research, practical tools, and proven solutions to remove barriers and drive change.

Purpose: Catalyst is a partner that can provide tools to improve inclusivity and belonging in our workplace, particularly for enhancing the workplace for women.

Progress: This partnership provides employees with access to unique and valuable resources to build an inclusive and balanced workplace. Catalyst offers multiple avenues for employees to engage around various topics, including leadership, career progression, inclusive behaviors, and championing change within our workplace, communities, and industry.

Opportunity: A more recent partnership, there is an excellent opportunity to increase employee awareness of these tools and resources, and to further the conversation about women in the workplace, turning it into an everyday conversation.


10. Balance and Belonging Education and Awareness

Commitment: Targeted, regular training around diversity and inclusion for all employees.

Purpose: Diversity and inclusion are essential and sometimes difficult topics within the workplace. To advance a culture of belonging, we are providing employees with the training, tools, and resources to respectfully have these conversations and to take productive, informative, and impactful daily actions to advance our culture.

Progress: Required training launched in October 2020.

Opportunity: As this conversation evolves, the continued development of tools and resources for employees and managers to educate, explore, and equip them to have informed conversations about topics of interest. Our opportunity to expand supplemental materials and provide managers and leaders with additional training and facilitated discussions will be rolled out in 2021.

Nurturing growth

BC supports growth of our employees and encourages development through opportunities like our Thrive program and Plan to Lead program for current and developing leaders in the organization. BC focuses on diversity with participant makeup, and in 2021, will have advanced balance and belonging education for participants.