Women in construction
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Coralee Beatty
Thrive HQ

Coralee Beatty is a seasoned professional specializing in empowering business owners in the construction industry to realize their visions. With a wealth of experience as a Fractional COO, business consultant, and leadership trainer, Coralee offers invaluable insights and strategic guidance to drive success. She is renowned for her expertise in facilitating leadership training sessions and sharing her knowledge as a speaker and podcast host. Coralee's passion for fostering growth and innovation in the construction sector makes her a trusted advisor for businesses seeking to thrive in today's competitive landscape.

Coralee shares with us her insights and perceptions about what construction companies should do to become more gender inclusive.

What strategies did you employ to attract and retain women in construction roles and foster a culture of innovation, advancement, and leadership?

In my experience as an employer in the trades, equal opportunities were always extended to workers regardless of gender. While I didn't have the chance to hire female workers in the field then, it wasn't due to bias but rather a lack of opportunities. Now, as a fractional COO, I assist numerous companies in hiring women in trade and construction roles. I actively seek out platforms followed by women in construction to advertise open positions, recognizing the value of diversity and the contributions of female workers.

Ultimately, my goal is to hire the best person for the job, regardless of gender, and to support women in the industry. Female business owners may find it particularly advantageous to create opportunities for other women in the field.

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

Not that I'm aware of. While some unions do offer programs specifically tailored for women, these programs are not the primary factor attracting women to the industry. Instead, women are drawn to the trades based on their inherent interests and seek out opportunities that support their career goals. As far as specific programs go, none come to mind that have significantly influenced women's decisions to enter the industry.

Does your firm have specific policies or practices in place to promote gender diversity and inclusion?

I firmly believe that everything must be equal, and there should be no decisions based on any gender, sex, or race. Any policy that is implemented must make things equally available for both genders. If a policy is made to divide men and women, I am not 100% behind it.

How can construction companies create a more inclusive environment in their workplace?

To create a more inclusive environment for women, construction companies must adopt policies with zero tolerance for discrimination, harassment, or bullying. While some may brush off such behavior as harmless joking, it's important to recognize its detrimental impact and ensure everyone feels respected and valued. This means holding everyone accountable, regardless of gender, and implementing the same standards for all employees.

Additionally, addressing practical concerns like restroom facilities is crucial for ensuring equality in the workplace.

Do you provide training or resources to educate employees on diversity and inclusion issues, including unconscious bias and harassment prevention?

Yes, absolutely. I actively encourage the companies I work with to incorporate training on diversity and inclusion into their leadership programs. It's essential for raising awareness about issues like unconscious bias and harassment prevention.

Many people may not realize they have unconscious biases, so this training is crucial in fostering a more inclusive and respectful workplace environment.