Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Celebrating International Women’s Day - Encouraging Women in Construction

International Women’s Day 2011 Celebrating, Encouraging Women in Construction, by wobuiltCollage: Happy International Women's Day 2011
Celebrating 100 years of Women's Achievements
#IWD2011 + #internationalwomensday
2011 @
It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes it does. Recently I answered a call and the gentleman on the other end politely asked if he could talk to my boss or partner. I was so taken back that I momentarily was lost for words. Finally, I politely counseled the gentleman that I was the boss and that the company is 100% female owned. He tried to apologize by saying that he thought I was the blond young fluffy thing at reception. Some people do not know when to stop.

As amusing the episode is, it shows that we in our society still fight certain stereotyping, especially in a more male dominated industry such as construction. We started Wo-Built to help women to have a career in the construction industry especially in the building trades. We felt that women were at a disadvantage due to prevailing perceptions. So we wanted Wo-Built to be a stepping stone in their career.

Today is the 100th anniversary of the International Women’s Day celebrating women’s achievements and accomplishments. We have made immense strides over the last 100 years in gaining equality, visibility and status in business, but further progress has to be made. And in the developed world it has often very little to do with external influences.

We are looking for one important aspect in the women we help, the right attitude. The attitude is to be the best you can be and not because you want to impress others. You want to be the best for yourself. This is the attitude that will also help every woman to make it in business. It often is the woman’s own prejudices, preconceived ideas and self-esteem issues that help to provide the ‘glass ceiling’.

We have met many competent and professional women in the construction industry, all of them are equal to their male counterparts. These are women who love what they are doing and through this become experts in their fields. They demand respect, a very important attribute in business.

The International Women’s Day theme this year is: Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women. Even though this is a right in Canada, women still have to claim this right in higher numbers. We will encourage any woman who wants to.

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

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