Women in construction
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Andrea Couture
Intra-State Terrazzo & Concrete

Andrea is the owner of Intra-State Terrazzo & Concrete and Shaffer's Irrigation and a dynamic and forward-thinking professional. With a passion for empowering women in the construction business, Andrea is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion while shaping the future of the industry.

Do you think companies should implement specific policies or practices to promote gender equality in the construction workforce?

As someone deeply involved in the construction sector, I firmly believe that promoting gender equality within companies is not just a choice but a necessity. In most corporate companies, especially in the lumber industry, these policies and practices are already considered rudimentary and have been adopted for years. While I appreciate the question, I see it as a fundamental obligation for companies to implement specific policies and practices to ensure gender equality in the construction workforce.

In an industry traditionally dominated by men, proactive steps are essential to foster an inclusive environment where everyone, regardless of gender, can thrive and contribute to their fullest potential. These policies should encompass recruitment practices, training and development opportunities, mentorship programs, and initiatives to address gender disparities in pay and advancement opportunities.

By prioritizing gender equality, companies not only create a more equitable workplace but also enhance innovation, productivity, and overall business success. It is about creating a better future for the construction industry.

What strategies has your firm employed to attract and retain women in construction roles and foster a culture of innovation, advancement, and leadership?

Attracting and retaining talent in the construction sector has posed significant challenges for firms, irrespective of gender. In recognizing this, our firm has implemented a multifaceted strategy to attract women to construction roles and foster a culture of innovation, advancement, and leadership.

One unconventional approach we have adopted is the implementation of flexible work arrangements tailored to accommodate diverse lifestyles and personal commitments. By offering options such as remote work, flexible hours, and job-sharing opportunities, we ensure that talented individuals, regardless of gender, can thrive in our organization while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

In line with our commitment to inclusivity, we also welcome second-chance team members, firmly believing everyone deserves an opportunity for redemption and personal growth. Our ethos is rooted in the belief that to thrive as an organization truly, we must be compassionate, human, and true to our values. By embracing creativity and compassion in our approach to talent acquisition and retention, we create a workplace where individuals can flourish, innovate, and lead with purpose.

How successful have these strategies been in increasing the number of women in your workforce?

While attracting women to fieldwork has been a challenge with minimal applications, our strategies have seen remarkable success in diversifying our office workforce. Addressing the disparity in fieldwork remains an ongoing endeavor, requiring innovative solutions to attract and retain talented women in these roles.

Are there any specific programs or initiatives that have particularly attracted women to the industry? Please describe.

While no specific programs or initiatives are designed exclusively to attract women, our firm remains committed to fostering an inclusive environment where individuals of all genders are welcomed and valued equally. We believe that true gender equality involves providing equal opportunities and treatment to all employees without favoring one gender over another. Our recruitment and retention efforts focus on creating a supportive culture, offering professional development opportunities, and implementing flexible work arrangements that appeal to a diverse range of talent. By prioritizing fairness and inclusivity, we aim to create an environment where everyone, regardless of gender, can thrive and contribute to the success of our organization.

How can construction companies better support women in the workplace and address any issues related to gender equality?

Construction companies can better support women in the workplace by implementing mentorship programs, providing equal access to training and advancement opportunities, and fostering a culture of respect and inclusion where everyone's contributions are valued and recognized, regardless of gender.