Keynote Address: Leadership, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Design and Construction.

Recorded On: 08/04/2022

  • Register
    • Non-member Practitioner - $25
    • Practitioner Member - $15
    • Owner Member - $10
    • Academia Member - $10
    • Industry Partner Academia Member - $10
    • Industry Partner Practitioner Member - $15
    • Industry Partner Owner Member - $10

CONTENT EXPIRES August 31, 2024

Deryl McKissack is the founder, chairwoman and chief executive officer of McKissack & McKissack, a national architecture, engineering, program- and construction-management firm currently working on over $15 billion in projects nationwide with 150 employees in several offices across the country. McKissack & McKissack is a continuation of the nation’s oldest African American design and construction firm.

Ms. McKissack will discuss her thoughts on leadership and the state of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in our industry, why DEI is good business and how strong leadership is key to achieving DEI goals, including a nuts-and-bolts discussion of methods and strategies.    Discussion Topics  How did you get started? How did you become the leader you are today?

  1. What is the state of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our industry? Is it your sense that the broader design and construction arena is doing better or worse than others with these challenges?
  2. How about specifically in the design-build community. We pride ourselves on being innovators, are we here too?
  3. How is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion good business? (Encouraging innovation, gaining different perspectives, growing the talent base, improving a company’s reputation)
  4. Good, dedicated leadership is so important to success. What can leadership – both Owner and Practitioner - be sure they do to improve DEI?
  5. Similar question on recruiting and working with MWDBEs? What are good leadership practices? (build long-term relationships, bonding assistance, prompt payment)
  6. What are strategies for effective mentoring both within an organization and between larger established organizations and MWDBEs?
  7. On MWDBE participation: What are the “dos” and “don’ts” in the RFP process when Owners are looking to incentivize MWDBE inclusion?
  8. What are some successful strategies being used to right-size scopes to enable participation of MWDBE firms?
  9. Jobsite harassment, bullying, even violence are real problems. What can leaders do? (Serious zero-tolerance policies that are communicated clearly and enforced)
  10. How can workforce education and training improve the situation? (Raising DEI awareness/benefits and improving/expanding worker skills)

Barbara C. Wagner, LEED AP, DBIA (Moderator)

Senior Vice President

Clark Construction Group, LLC

Barbara Wagner is a senior vice president with Clark Construction Group and oversees the company's Healthcare Center of Excellence (COE). Ms. Wagner has more than 34 years of construction experience, specializing in design-build delivery and healthcare. Through her leadership of the Healthcare COE, Ms. Wagner works with Clark's project teams to implement best practices and ensure a consistent experience for Clark's clients.

 Ms. Wagner participates on several boards and is the past Chair of the National Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) and serves as President Emeritus of DBIA's Western Pacific Region. She is a graduate of the Catholic University of America earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture and holds a Masters in Civil Engineering and Construction Management from the University of Maryland. 

Deryl McKissack, P.E.

President and Chief Executive Officer of McKissack & McKissack

Deryl McKissack is the founder, chairwoman and chief executive officer of McKissack &McKissack, a national architecture, engineering, program- and construction-management firm currently working on over $15 billion in projects nationwide. Under Deryl’s leadership, McKissack has worked for public and private clients in the civic, culture, energy, education, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, housing, infrastructure, mixed-use and office sectors and grown to over 150 employees with offices in Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, D.C.As a licensed professional engineer, Deryl is the fifth generation of her family to work in design and construction. McKissack & McKissack is a continuation of the nation’s oldest African American design and construction firm and traces its beginnings to Moses. McKissack, a master builder who was also a slave. By age six, Deryl was drafting architectural drawings under her father’s guidance. After graduating from Howard University with a B.S. in civil engineering, she worked at Turner Construction and Dames & Moore to hone her experience in field work, business development and construction management. In 1990, with a shoestring budget of $1,000 and a business plan she wrote herself, Deryl started McKissack & McKissack. Today, Engineering News-Record ranks the firm in two of its most significant national lists: 100 Top Construction Management For-Fee Firms and 50Top Program Management Firms. McKissack has managed landmark projects that include the Museum of African American History and Culture, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, the Obama Presidential Center and the Navy Pier Centennial Projects in Chicago. The firm is also designing additions to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum and led construction and served as the architect of record for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. Most recently, McKissack received a 2021 BET Soul Train Award as a “Black Business Icon” for her advocacy efforts to increase Black and minority participation and end racism and discrimination in the AEC industry. In 2020, she received Inc. magazine’s 2020 Best in Business Award for her workforce diversity plan. Personally, the National Academy of Construction elected Deryl to its class of 2020, calling her “a visionary leader and entrepreneur with significant contributions in architecture, engineering, construction and program management and a mentor to the next generation of industry leaders.” In 2020, McKissack marked 30 years in the AEC industry with a webcast featuring David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group hedge fund, and presentations to the Executives’ Club of Chicago, the National Arts Council and other groups. McKissack’s initiatives also were recognized in PwC’s Strategy + Business, Aviation Business, Construction Dive, Engineering News-Record and other business and AEC industry publications. In 2020, she developed a seven-point plan to combat racism and discrimination in the AEC industry and is currently developing a nonprofit with other industry leaders dedicated to furthering this mission and change the equation in AEC.


Keynote Address
07/26/2022 at 1:45 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 08/04/2022
07/26/2022 at 1:45 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 08/04/2022
Agree to terms to continue.
Agree to terms to continue. You must attend each session for a minimum of 45 minutes to earn Continuing Education credits (CEUs).
Session Evaluation
5 Questions
1.00 CEU credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 CEU credit  |  Certificate available