Dr. Giovanna Brasfield | Vice President | Diversity & Inclusion for Flatiron Construction & LINXS JV Inclusivity Manager

Dr. GIOVANNA BRASFIELD:  You may call her “A Woman on the Rise”

Meet Dr. Giovanna Brasfield a.k.a. Dr. G, the Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion for Flatiron Construction and LINXS JV Inclusivity Manager. “Dr. G” serves as the Senior Supplier Diversity and Community Inclusion Officer for Flatiron Construction as the Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion and also serves as the Inclusivity Manager for LINXS JV on the Los Angeles World Airport’s Automated People Mover (APM) project.

She assists the Southwest District Manager and the Division Manager in meeting contractual requirements on current projects and upcoming project pursuits that engage women, diverse businesses, local workforce, and youth engagement.

“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within”

Dr. Brasfield is a true advocate, leader, and change agent within construction who is passionate about inclusion of others within construction and construction-related trades. Dr. Brasfield has been named the 2020 Mujer del Ano by the Regional Hispanic Institute as part of the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, by construction industry bloggers as one of the “2020, and also the 2019 Top 50 Construction Influencers” across the United States, by the Los Angeles Business Journal as a finalist for the Rising Star Award, by  DemoChicks as an “Epic Women”, CNBC’s Workforce Executive Council Member,  the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of California’s Diversity and Inclusivity’s Expert Task Force, and by Diversity Professional Magazine as a “Game Changer”.

Moreover, she has an extensive background and experience in marketing, research, business development, and community involvement through her engagement in educational issues, program management, capacity building, construction & transportation concerns, economic development and social issues. Her unique ideas and methods has helped her to achieve many milestones for her as well as for the organization.

Insights Success admire such leaders takes pride in featuring such leader in its special edition, “The Most Admired Women Leaders in Business 2020”

Into the Shoes of Leader

Dr. G states that for her, becoming proficient leader in the construction industry for diversity and inclusion has required focused, hard work over many years. “It’s not been easy, but it’s been rewarding,” says her. In her journey, she has sought to constantly develop herself within the maledominated industry of construction. She also states that she has always focused on understanding the role of diversity and inclusion to help aid awareness, remove barriers for the traditionally underserved and build a foundation for internal and external program development.

“Perspective is everything,” quotes Dr. G.

She doesn’t see roadblocks or challenges as hindrances, but as obstacles to overcome and to learn from. In business, as well as in construction, she has overcame many challenging situations and has learned that success comes from having the right perspective, understanding policies, remaining open to differences in thought and being able to take feedback from others. When dealing with an obstacle, she does not consider it as the end of the road, but states that more so as an opportunity to create her own new opportunity whenever possible.

Moreover, Dr. G states that there are few women in the construction industry. But through diversity and inclusion initiatives, she has been able to mentor other women and collaborate with organizations that focus on women empowerment and equality. At Flatiron’s LINXS joint venture project, Dr. G has created an employee resource group called the LINXS Women’s Leadership Network. She is also focusing on inclusion initiatives as part of Flatiron’s growth model an essential component of its business resource group for Flatiron’s Diversity & Inclusion Growth Group.

Solutions to Rely On

To strengthen Flatiron’s diversity and inclusion offerings, Dr. G seeks to listen, engage, include, and assess. “With programs such as these, success requires involvement from everyone. Diversity and inclusion is most effective in a collaborative, team environment where the focus is an allinclusive model.” This generates positive results for everyone; especially in the areas of contract commitments and compliance.”, she states.  Dr. G is honored to serve as a diversity and inclusion executive for Flatiron, and to work with company’s Diversity & Inclusivity Growth Group, project teams, clients and community resources to strategically implement, monitor and oversee inclusion programs. A key goal for Dr. G is to maximize inclusion drawn from the communities surrounding a project for youth, workforce and local firms. In her position, Dr. G works with teams to serve as a conduit of change, to ensure multiple diversity and inclusion initiatives are implemented and aligned with Flatiron’s mission and core values, as well as create a long term impacts for internal and external stakeholders.

Whereas, in the case of its LINXS Joint Venture (JV) project at Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA), Dr. G works with the team to interpret contract commitments, implement the Inclusivity & Workforce Development Plan, assess potential points of noncompliance, resolve issues and ensure a diversification of Flatiron’s and LINXS JV’s offerings. This requires ongoing relationships with multiple people with expertise in areas such as contracts, construction, designing, quality and labor compliance.

When asked about the competition, she states that like Flatiron, other companies are reinforcing their commitments to diversity and inclusion—and it’s critical and essential. In her case, the company is developing a multi-faceted plan that it believes will engage employees, clients, stakeholders, communities and youth. She has come to realize that it is important to be proactive and to achieve even marginal gains. So, she spends time in important initial steps by listening, brainstorming, looking at data and applying what she has learn. Then she tries to align multiple teams within the organization that will be impacted by the outcome to ensure overall buy-in to the effort.

Embracing Technology

Dr. Giovanna learned to adapt, be flexible and be open to using evolving technology and thereby enhance her personal growth. This has been especially important in the current challenging pandemic environment. Life as she knew it has changed, but her responsibilities and commitments remains. Like so many others in business, she has become proficient in streaming meeting platforms like Zoom, GoToMeetings, WebEx and other technologies to conduct day-to-day business with subcontractors, project teams and employees. In addition, she states that currently she relies heavily on electronic newsletters, project websites, emails, LinkedIn and Instagram to share project milestones and critical information with external stakeholders. “How we conduct business is changing daily, and I am reminded that we must be open to new innovations. As an industry, we have created a new normal that, I believe, will boost personal growth for all,” says Dr. Giovanna.

A Glimpse into the Future

She states that there is a lot of opportunity and potential for change related to removing barriers, creating equality and driving action; ways in which inclusion can make and be the difference. With the current state of the world, the role of diversity leaders is essential to help create cohesion and solidarity with creating equity. She sees herself as being among those at the forefront of helping Flatiron lead change, implement actions, strengthen internal and external equity and enhance inclusion throughout the business.