March 3-9 is Women in Construction Week. To honor a week that calls attention not only to the growing number of women in the industry, but also the opportunities available to women, we’d like to tell you about a program we launched last year to support the women working within our own company.
In 2018 we kicked off our Professional Women’s Network (PWN), a resource group that supports our female construction professionals as they build their talents and develop their careers. It is a group that furthers our mission and values. Our work environment is based on teamwork, honesty and respect. Our employees are our greatest asset—and should be treated as such.
PWM is a diverse network that spans specialties, companies and regions. Participants come from all seven companies under the Heico Construction Group umbrella, including those that serve national or worldwide markets and those serving specific regions in the United States.
Why a women’s network?
The women at the Heico Construction Group Companies play a key role in our organization’s growth and success. Our Professional Women’s Network, in turn, provides them with a forum for open discussion about the challenges women face in a primarily male-dominated industry. With this network, they have opportunities to come together and explore their skill sets, build confidence, create mentoring relationships and assist younger employees in getting their feet under them.
Last year, we explored topics such as challenging assumptions, confidence building, how to build a professional network and developing professional assertiveness. Guest speakers who shared their experiences and wisdom included representatives from the local National Association of Women in Construction and the Chicago branch of Women Construction Owners and Executives as well as Barb Philibert, President/CEO of Pettibone LLC, a Heico LLC company, and Jody Brusenhan, President of Heico Construction Group.
The group also participated in team-building activities such as a high ropes course, physical training activities and future planning programs.
So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive—stories of personal growth, increased job satisfaction and a stronger feeling of inclusion have been reported by participants. Mentoring relationships among participants are forming, and the ability to reach out to co-workers across our organizations and the country provides support, increased productivity and more engaged workers.
This year, the Women’s Professional Network plans to organize local events and programs to reach more women within our organization. The network is also looking for ways to promote outreach to women who are either considering a career in construction or are working on an education related to the construction industry.
By providing resources for personal and professional growth and actively engaging more women, we’re continuing our mission to create a company culture where employees feel like family and remain on board. Let us know how we’re doing!
To learn more about the HGC Professional Women’s Network or to offer feedback, contact Ruthann Ellis at ruthann.ellis@HeicoCG.com.