Women in Construction

Affinity groups and other construction careers – from the editor, April 2024


May 8, 2024
By Anthony Capkun Avatar photo
Presented by:
Electrical Business Magazine

May 6, 2024 – Along with our “Construction Group” colleagues, Electrical Business Magazine hosts an annual virtual event during the week of International Women’s Day.

Called “Women in Construction”, the virtual event was launched several years ago to openly discuss the issues women face and, by so doing, increase their participation.

I’ve been directly involved with assembling this event for a few years—lining up topics, finding speakers, participating in the sessions, and so on—and I always walk away with insights I’d never had before.

This year’s edition was no exception. We started the day with a Fireside Chat that included Jennifer Eastman, Leslie Dibling, Natasha Callender-Wilson, and Summer Nicholl who, respectively, spoke about their journeys in the electrical, infrastructure, glazing, and mechanical sectors.

Entitled “Beyond the jobsite”, this session explored careers in distribution/wholesale, sales agencies, manufacturers, etc. While a lot of effort and resources are being put toward attracting people to the skilled trades (which is great!), I felt it was crucial to also bring attention to viable, good careers with other organizations that are, frankly, an indelible part of the industry.

Meantime, affinity group experts Joanna Osawe, Michelle Branigan, Nirav Patel, and Rakhi Voria easily exceeded my expectations for the session on starting a women’s group at your workplace… and I was the moderator!

They helped answer questions such as: What are the indications that an affinity group is warranted/needed for the workplace? Why are we doing this? How do we measure the affinity group’s outcomes?

While useful for attracting talent, a successful affinity group really pays dividends when it comes to talent retention. But there are right ways of doing this, and wrong ways.

Please visit Women In Construction, where you will find valuable insights and advice for expanding your talent pool.

— Anthony Capkun, editor-publisher, acapkun@ebmag.com.


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