At AOS, we are committed to putting people first. We believe in the promotion of human and civil rights, the universal respect for human dignity and the unbiased treatment of all persons. Celebrating our differences will enrich our community, propel us forward and spark creativity. By focusing on equity, diversity and inclusion in the environments where we work, live and play, together we can create a better world for all.
By giving back, we have a profound opportunity to lift others up and move our community forward. Whether we are donating our time, talent or treasure, we each have the chance roll up our sleeves and contribute to our communities in personal ways.
For the past six years, AOS has proudly contributed over $150,000 annually to the following organizations committed to championing diversity, professional development, art, music, and most importantly, the voices of our unserved community members. We will continue our support and strengthen our advocacy as a company.
Knowing we must work together to amplify efforts across our networks, AOS works closely with our clients and community organizations to support supplier diversity and develop programs. We are committed to developing a trusted network of suppliers that includes Minority Owned Business Enterprises, Women’s Business Enterprises, Small Business Enterprises, LGBT and Disability-Owned Business Enterprises through outreach and targeted networking. Having these contacts on hand allows us to help foster relationships between our own clients and other businesses within our industry, supply chain and the broader business landscape.
Arts, music and culture is the soul of our city and fuels our inspiration. Whether we are grooving at YLC Wednesday at the Square, sponsoring an exhibit at The Historic New Orleans Collection, or supporting young artists at Just Say YAYA, we are always looking for opportunities to celebrate our region’s creative spirit.
Leadership in design and construction requires collaboration. It is our responsibility—individually and collectively—to encourage and celebrate the contributions of those who bring diverse experiences, views and needs to the design process.
We are committed to using our own internship programming and recruitment resources to provide opportunities for minorities in partnership with the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) to actively help develop a pipeline for minority success within our industry.
Strong board leadership is an essential part of the success and effectiveness of social change and strengthening our communities. Across our firm, we currently have team members serving on 10 advisory boards across the region, committing their time, energy and expertise towards a more sustainable and diverse industry.
We use our understanding of specifying healthier building products to help our clients make decisions, which will shape the daily lives of their employees and the community. Our manufacturer partners have a strong focus on sustainability goals and consider the environmental, economic and social factors tied to design, sourcing and manufacturing while being transparent about materials.
A strong team allows us to contribute to our greater community and is the most valuable asset we have in improving the world around us. Our diversity strategy calls on us to encourage, value and leverage differences to build an inclusive and engaging work environment. We continue to integrate this strategy across our efforts to attract develop and retain a diverse workforce.
We are committed to encouraging constructive conversation across our team through ongoing unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion training. Our training program has been informed by and catalyzed through partnerships with the Racial Equity Institute (REI), the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI) and the Society for Human Resources (SHRM).
We are immensely proud to have a team made of 60% women in leadership positions and 62% women in professional services positions. However, we know there is a deficit of people of color across our firm. To ensure we are taking a conscious and proactive in our hiring practices, we plan to post all future job openings on job boards with targeted outreach to minorities to create a diverse talent pool that reflects our clients and community.
We have heavily invested in our people, creating an engaging internal community and company culture. We support our team through professional development, personal planning sessions, team activities and health and wellness activities so that our employees have a holistic workplace that promotes productivity, flexibility and well-being.
In 2020, we launched the AOS Warehouse Shop as a way for us to encourage sustainability and reuse by offering contract-grade products back to the design community at a highly discounted rate. Going forward, we will also be looking to introduce more sustainable practices in our processes, including our 12-fleet of delivery trucks.