Since last Monday, we have been celebrating Women in Construction Week and International Women's Day 2021. The discussions we've started and contributed to will keep going all year long.
We are committed to being a positive force in this industry for equal gender opportunity. This effort includes engaging with our community, professional associations, encouraging more women into residential home building, and empowering women to excel when they join.
We are proud to have a female founding director, Laurel James, who leads our diverse team. We have over 45% of staff represented by women, and know that every member is here on their merits, not because of their preferred gender.
Women in construction include a variety of professions. We are proud to say this represents every department and level of our Novell Design Build.
Laurel James is our Director and the first chair of HAVAN's Women's Council. She has strong feelings about the idea of a gender-balanced team.
For all her volunteerism and leadership for equality in our industry, Laurel believes that the best person for the job should be employed and supported. Women will rise to challenges and can prove their skills if presented the opportunity. While Novell Design Build doesn't hire based on gender, it isn't a coincidence that we've achieved near-gender parity on our team. Laurel and the rest of our team invite women into construction conversations often and encourage them to apply when a job opportunity arises.
Complacency, when it comes to gender hiring practices, simply isn't an option and definitely isn't a pseudo-solution.
The result of Laurel's work is that we find women in construction, in all trades and professions, who believe that they are alone in their work. Women in construction aren't alone, but our numbers are not rising at the rate we need. We need to do better.
"Women in British Columbia represent only about 4.5% of the skilled trades and that number has barely moved in decades." reports the BC Centre for Women in the Trades.
If we could attract just 5% more women in BC, the massive labour shortage would be filled.
This week, we celebrated each other's achievements. Five of our female team members shared their experiences and challenges with the residential design build industry. They represent a future where it's not strange to see a woman accomplishing skilled labour, managing an office, designing a home, managing a construction project, or running a company.
We #ChoosetoToChallenge by being really good at what we do. A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
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Novell has the in-house capabilities and expertise to handle both the design and construction aspects of a project, without relying heavily on subcontracting any of the core work to external parties.
As a design-build professional, ensuring thoughtfulness in solutions and creating meaningful spaces requires a mindful approach. Homes matter, and at Novell, we want the design-build work that we do to matter and be meaningful to homeowners for years to come.