Respectful Workplace Initiative: Workplace Climate Scale & Resource Hub

African American female construction worker standing at a job site.

Helping organizations find solutions for workforce diversity and retention in Oregon's construction industry.

The Respectful Workplace Initiative, a partnership between the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), and the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), aims to equip the construction industry with new evidenced-based tools and resources to develop and retain a diverse workforce. 

A respectful workplace is one in which all employees feel safe, valued, and treated with respect. Unfortunately, on many construction sites, harassment and discrimination persist, hampering the industry's ability to retain women and people of color who are key to addressing the industry’s labor shortage.  

While some construction companies have initiated culture improvement efforts, there remains a gap in assessing progress and providing evidenced-based support. The Respectful Workplace Initiative addresses this gap by introducing two innovative tools: the Respectful Workplace Climate Scale and the Respectful Workplace Resource Hub. These tools will work in tandem to evaluate and improve construction work site culture, ultimately increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion to retain workers in the construction industry. 

Respectful Workplace Climate Scale

The Respectful Workplace Climate Scale will be a scientifically validated and predictive tool that measures employees’ perceptions of company policies, procedures, and practices as they relate to building a respectful workplace. The Scale was developed by Dr. Emily Huang at the Climate Safety Laboratory at Oregon Health and Science University. The Scale draws on over 40 years of research in the safety climate arena to address key dimensions of discrimination; diversity, equity, and inclusion; organizational justice and fairness; bullying and harassment; and workplace civility.  

The Scale is designed to: 

  1. Evaluate the status of your organization and recommend areas in need of improvement
  2. Establish a benchmark and track the progress of your organization
  3. Validate the effects of your efforts to build a respectful workplace
Professor Emily Huang presenting on the respectful workplace initiative.

Respectful Workplace Resource Hub

The Respectful Workplace Resource Hub will be an online repository of evidence- based and evidence-informed tools, training, and frameworks for construction companies seeking to adopt and implement respectful workplace practices. The Resource Hub is designed to address challenges highlighted by the Respectful Workplace Climate Scale.

Respectful Workplace Initiative Resources and Information

construction worker or architect woman feeling proud and satisfied with career opportunity. Portrait of black building management employee or manager working on a project site

Respectful Workplace Initiative: Info and FAQ

The Respectful Workplace Initiative offers tools and resources to develop and retain a diverse construction workforce.

OccHealthSci staff member Shaun McGillis recording a podcast.

Assessing workplace culture and climate for safety

Dr. Emily Huang discusses how the tools she develops can be used to help organizations measure their safety, health, and respectful workplace climates.

Picture of a person sitting on a couch reading a blog post on a laptop.

RWI Blog Post

A partnership between Dr. Huang’s Safety Climate Lab and state agencies supports the development of a new tool to measure respectful climates in construction workplaces.

Interested in the Respectful Workplace Initiative? Contact:

Erin Flynn, Ph.D. 
Director, Outreach Operations 

Dr. Emily Huang discusses the Respectful Workplace Climate Scale.