CAWIC’s Level Best Action Plan findings and recommendations
TORONTO - The Canadian Association of Women in Construction recently conducted the Level Best Women's Advancement Project.
The needs assessment phase of the project revealed the primary needs and challenges of women in the industry. Some of those finding were:
- Lack of or inaccessible training opportunities
- Insufficient support, feedback and confidence building for career growth and promotion;
- Inflexible or hyper-intensive work schedule;
- Unwelcome work environment particularly on construction site;
- Gender stereotyping, overt or subtle harassment/discrimination;
- Lack of pay equity, isolated or remote work locations, extensive travel and project duration;
- Challenge of balancing personal/family life with work demands;
- Lack of up-to-date and relevant statistical data.
- Among the strategies developed to address primary needs and challenges are:
- Improve public perception and reception of choosing a career in construction;
- Demonstrate a business case for women's entry and advancement in the industry;
- Develop clear and measurable procurement policies that involve an increase in women's presence and employment in the industry;
- Adopt career advancement policies to promote women into the highest decision-making roles;
- Identify to avoid stereotypical, gender based biases whether overt or hidden;
- Evaluate all employees with an emphasis on skills competence rather than using gender or "accommodation" factors;
- Collect and report female representation to designated government agencies (for data gathering and policy development) from the field
- Develop government/labour employment inclusion and promotion policies and initiatives;
- Create and implement education system training and awareness programs commencing at primary grades involving school boards, teachers and guidance counsellors;
- Increased partnership and collaboration within and across the industry including organizations that support women's career growth and leadership.
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