Recognized as one of the most prominent game-changers and thought leaders in diversity, equity, and inclusion, CEO Les Hiscoe was named a Visionary in the Los Angeles Times’ inaugural Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility feature. Learn more about why Les was honored below, and read his Visionary feature here.

In an industry that faces a glaring lack of diversity, CEO Les Hiscoe is dedicated to accelerating Shawmut’s DEI work to drive immediate change and lasting results. He knows that making progress—both within and outside the walls of Shawmut—takes everyone, not just those who are underrepresented. He’s devoted to leading this work for the future generation of builders—the success and succession of the industry depends on it.

Les’ philosophy is to provide the right tools, strong leadership, and development opportunities so Shawmut’s people can thrive and reach their fullest potential when they are in a culture that is truly inclusive​. He’s fully committed to investing in equity across the organization—which starts at the top with dedication from the entire executive leadership team. Building a team diverse in people, ideas, and experiences allows the firm to provide an unparalleled experience for their clients.

Under Les’ leadership, Shawmut has been at the forefront of the construction industry for its DEI work. In 2014 the firm reached a set point—recognizing there were areas that needed work, it became more strategic. Les declared DEI a business imperative, and Shawmut created a Diversity Leadership Council (DLC) that has partnered with Deloitte Human Capital and Catalyst to create a strategic framework to advance toward its goal of workplace equity and inclusion and the strongest, most diverse representation.

Les has worked with his leadership teams across the company to drive real, lasting change. He realizes that fighting against inequality must be an ongoing focus. Here are some of the critical steps taken under Les’ leadership:

When Shawmut first started on its journey to DEI, the firm had 30% diversity at the entry level and 10% at the senior level. The firm is now up to 24% women at the senior level and a workforce that’s comprised of 35% women, compared to the construction industry which is only 10%. From 2019 to 2020, Shawmut hired 15% more women and 5% more people of color.