New BCA WiC group promotes networking, professional development and leadership opportunities

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The BCA Women in Construction group participated in the Rotary Fun Run in May (Image from BCA Facebook site)

The BCA’s Women in Construction (WiC) group was created in 2019 with a mandate to develop and promote networking, professional development and leadership opportunities among women in the construction industry.

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“We value the potential of networking and developing women in the construction industry,” said WiC co-chiar Kim Shelswell. Shelswell leads the group with co-chair Bryony Buchanan.

Meetings are held on the last Tuesday of every month, and the group is gaining in popularity, with more than 20 members joining in the first four months since its first meeting in March.

The BCA knows that many women are helping to lead the growth and success of the construction industry in Simcoe County, yet resources are limited to support their career and its unique challenges.

The BCA’s WiC group provides opportunities that will help women network, learn, succeed and lead in the constantly changing industrial, commercial and institutional construction industry.

Membership is open to any woman working in any field of the construction industry, and they required to pay a nominal annual fee that allows immediate access access to a vast network of other women working in the construction industry and allows members to attend meetings, discussion panels, mentorship nights, and social events.

“All of the benefits of membership provide invaluable knowledge and experiences that women can relate to and use to strengthening and better themselves as business professionals, and become a more positive contributor throughout the community,” Shelswell said.

Women working in any role at a business, organization or employer in the construction industry, are welcome to join, including:

  • Owners, architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, manufacturers and suppliers;
  • managers, safety professionals, project managers, superintendents, estimators and labourers;
  • administrative, accounting, sales and HR;
  • government agencies; and
  • students/apprentices.

The membership base already spans a wide variety of women from all different fields of the construction industry, including office administrators, engineers, sales, recycling specialists and onsite wastewater professionals.

“I would have to say there are two common goals that are consistent throughout our members,” said Shelswell.  “The first is to network and connect with other women working in the male-dominated construction industry, and the second is a commitment to give back to the community.”

“Moving forward, these two things will be at the forefront of our goals, as we aspire to continue growing our membership base, and collectively work together and commit to giving back to our community.”

It’s an exciting new venture for the BCA, and Shelswell highlights the success of the June meeting that included a mentorship discussion panel with three successful and influential women in the industry.

“The results from that meeting were an outstanding success, so much so that it has now inspired and prompted the group to run an on-going mentorship series. I’m hopeful that this will one day lead us to a very successful Mentorship Program within the WiC group.”

Meetings are held the fourth Tuesday of every month from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the BCA office, 200 Brock St. Membership fee is $100 plus HST for a current BCA member and $125 plus HST for a non BCA member. Fee applies after your first meeting.