VICTORIA, B.C. – Six employers have been highlighted by a new award for supporting workplace diversity, tradeswomen and a positive workplace culture.
The British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) and Minerva B.C. hosted the inaugural Builders Code Champion Awards at a ceremony on Nov 28 in Victoria to recognize the B.C. companies for their work to implement the code.
“On behalf of everyone at BCCA, Minerva BC and all our Builders Code partners, I want to thank our winners for their support of the Builders Code and congratulate them for creating and maintaining outstanding workplaces that support the safety and protection of all employees. As an industry facing a serious labour shortage, the retention of tradespeople, and especially tradeswomen, in our sector is critical. By demonstrating their commitment to their workforce, our winners have distinguished themselves as outstanding role models in the construction industry,” BCCA president Chris Atchison said.
Ram Consulting Ltd. won in the Recruiting and Hiring Champion category, and both Scott Construction Group and Kinetic Construction won in the Workplace Culture Champion category. The Initiate of the Year award went to Durwest Construction Management, and Westcana Electric won both the Community Champion and Contractor of the Year award. Chinook Scaffold Systems also won in the Contractor of the year category.
In order to be recognized as a Builders Code Champion, individuals and companies must “demonstrate their commitment, leadership, and action towards advancing and retaining women in their company and achieving the provincial goal of 10 per cent tradeswomen by 2028,” a Builders Code release stated.
Ram Consulting’s initiatives in the Recruiting and Hiring category included performing a staff make-up audit, commitment to increase its percentage of women and minority workers, and creating a Women In Engineering group, along with revising wording on job postings to eliminate bias, and ensuring women and minorities being interviewed have a representative on the selection panel.
Scott Construction was recognized for supporting a company-wide mental health committee, advancing and retaining tradeswomen through partnerships with the Industry Training Authority, Canadian Construction Women and the BC Center for Women in the Trades. Scott was also involved with Be More Than A Bystander and Mental Health First Aid Attendant training, two programs that promote retention of tradeswomen.
Kinetic Construction provided education for Camosun’s Women in Trades program and worked as a partner with the Royal Roads University Master of Global Management program. Durwest Construction Management won the Initiate of the Year award because it provided Builders Code training on all jobsites, incorporated an ‘Equal Opportunity’ pledge into employment contracts, promoted its anti-hazing, bullying and harassment policy and sponsored and mentored female apprentices. Durwest also worked with the Women in Trades program at Camosun College.
Westcana’s win in the Community Champion category was a result of the company’s initiative to sign memorandums of understanding with Indigenous communities to facilitate work experience and training for young women. Westcana was also recognized for providing more than $300,00 in sponsorship for activities, teams and organizations, and providing gender appropriate washroom facilities and ensuring PPE and clothing is appropriately sized for women.
Westcana’s double win as a Contractor of the Year stems from employing around 30 women in trades as either apprentices or journeyperson electricians, partnering with the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Education and Training Association’s Women in Trades program, and creating an “Apprentice-Shop Program” to provide youth with hands-on experience in an electrical warehouse.
Chinook Scaffold Systems won in the Contractor of the Year category because it has a senior management team that is 50 per cent female and a safety team that is 62.5 per cent female. Chinook also partnered with the Prince George Aboriginal Employment and Training Association to provide entry level trades training to Indigenous people.
Nomination applications were accepted from May to November 1, 2019, and the winners selected by a panel comprised of Minerva BC, the BCCA and the Builders Code Governance Committee.