Inaugural Builders Code Champion Awards Celebrate Construction Sector Leadership
Nine months after unveiling the resources to help the industrial, commercial, and institutional construction sector set a standard code of conduct on worksites in B.C., the Builders Code has honoured six companies for their leadership at the inaugural Builders Code Champion Awards. Hosted by the BCCA and Minerva BC at the Ocean Pointe Resort in Victoria yesterday, the awards recognized companies with advanced policies and practices that seek to ensure all employees can reach their full potential in the skilled trades.
“Thank you to the BC Construction Association, Minerva BC and all of your partners for the work you are doing to recruit and advance more women in trades,” said Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “Your commitment to safe and inclusive workplaces contributes to a more accessible sector for everyone. Initiatives like the Builders Code are a rallying point to get more people involved in the trades, helping our province continue to grow while embracing diversity.”
The award categories and winners included:
- Recruiting & Hiring Champion: RAM Consulting Ltd. (Vancouver);
- Workplace Culture Champion: Scott Construction Group (Vancouver) and Kinetic Construction (Victoria);
- Community Champion: Westcana Electric (Prince George);
- Initiate of the Year: Durwest Construction Management (Victoria); and
- Contractor of the Year: Westcana Electric (Prince George) and Chinook Scaffold Systems (Nanaimo)
“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,” said Chris Atchison, President, BCCA. “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.”
To be recognized as a Builders Code Champion, individuals and organizations must have demonstrated their commitment, leadership, and action towards advancing and retaining women in their company and achieving the provincial goal of 10% tradeswomen by 2028. Nomination applications were accepted from May to November 1, 2019, with winners selected by a Judging Panel comprised of Minerva BC, the BCCA and the Builders Code Governance Committee. The winners included:
“As partners of the Builders Code, we’re pleased to apply our experience measuring and reporting on women’s representation in B.C.’s workplaces to the construction sector,” said Tina Strehlke, CEO, Minerva BC. “Benchmarking where the construction sector is now will help us identify where progress is happening in the sector and where there is room for improvement. By sharing their information with us, our inaugural participants have demonstrated an important commitment to advancing and retaining tradeswomen.”
Builders Code Champion Award Recipients
Recruiting & Hiring Champion – This award recognizes companies that: hire the best talent based on skills, experience, and attitude; work to attract diverse candidates; look for ways to remove barriers that hold them back; and compensate all employees at fair market value regardless of gender, race, religion, or ethnicity.
Winner: RAM Consulting Ltd. (Vancouver) – Among RAM’s initiatives in this category were: performing an audit of staff make-up; committing to increasing its percentage of women and minority workers, especially in management and technical positions; creating a RAM Women in Engineering (RWE) group; revising the wording of job postings to make them gender neutral and unbiased; ensuring women or minorities being interviewed have a representative on the selection panel; and creating a family-friendly environment in the workplace, with flexible working hours, and all-ages family events throughout the year. Today, over 65% of RAM’s staff is made up of visible minority workers and 33% of the staff is women, including 28% in positions of management. RAM was also named one of the top ten fastest-growing professional service companies on Canada’s Growth 500 list.
Workplace Culture Champion – This award recognizes companies that: commit to a respectful, safe and inclusive workplace culture; encourage employees to recognize their role in that culture; and hold employees and sub-contractors accountable, ensuring a work environment free from harassment, hazing, and bullying.
Winner: Scott Construction Group (Vancouver) – Among Scott Construction Group’s initiatives in this category were: supporting a company-wide, volunteer-run Mental Health Committee to reduce the stigma of mental illness and support the mental health of staff and groups/individuals on their jobsites; advancing and retaining tradeswomen through partnerships with Canadian Construction Women, BC Center for Women in the Trades, and ITA; and participating in training that promotes the retention of tradeswomen (Be More Than A Bystander and Mental Health First Aid Attendant training)
Winner: Kinetic Construction (Victoria) – Among Kinetic Construction’s initiatives in this category were: being an active promoter of diversity, including female apprentices and all tradespeople;; providing education in Camosun’s Women in Trades (WIT) program, volunteering their time to educate WIT students, speaking at Camosun College events and attending and instructing at team building forums; over the last three years has been a dedicated industry partner of the Royal Roads University Master of Global Management program, hosting international students in paid internships; regular participants in RRU’s industry panels and networking events; adding the Builders Code to on-boarding packages for all new employees; and posting Builders Code signage at worksites.
Community Champion – This award recognizes companies that: promote career opportunities for women in the skilled trades; support their tradespeople to mentor others; and promote education, awareness and training that positively impacts their community, company and employees.
Winner: Westcana Electric (Prince George) – Among Westcana Electric’s initiatives in this category were: signing MOUs
with Indigenous communities to facilitate work experience and training for young women; creating their “Apprentice-Shop Program” to provide youth with hands-on experience in an electrical warehouse (60% have gone on to trades training); providing more than $300,000 in sponsorship for activities, teams and organizations; providing gender appropriate washroom facilities and ensuring PPE and clothing is appropriately sized for women; providing on-going training for managers, supervisors, and staff to ensure they are knowledgeable about what constitutes an Acceptable Worksite; and integrating Builders Code best practices into their HR hiring practices.
Initiate of the Year – This award recognizes companies that: introduced diversity policies this year; are committed to building an Acceptable Worksite; and are working to create a construction sector that works for everyone.
Winner: Durwest Construction Management (Victoria) – Among Durwest Construction Management’s initiatives in this category were: providing Builders Code training on all its jobsites; updating bullying, harassment & “zero tolerance” policies; incorporating an ‘Equal Opportunity’ pledge into employment contracts; promoting its anti-hazing, bullying and harassment policy; sponsoring and mentoring female apprentices; working with the Women in Trades program at Camosun College to attract women to work at Durwest; training all site staff on acceptable treatment of all workers; and incorporating Builders Code Acceptable Worksite expectations to recruiting and hiring practices, as well as orientation packages for all employees.
Contractor of the Year – This award recognizes companies that: are fully committed to achieving an Acceptable Worksite and building a diverse workforce where all employees are able to perform at their best and reach their full potential.
Winner: Westcana Electric (Prince George) – Among Westcana Electric’s initiatives in this category were: employing approximately 30 women in trades that are either apprentices or journeyperson electricians; partnering with the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Education and Training Association’s Women in Trades program; creating their “Apprentice-Shop Program” to provide youth with hands-on experience in an electrical warehouse (60% have gone on to trades training); providing more than $300,000 in sponsorship for activities, teams and organizations; winning a 2018 ITA award for carrying the most apprentices to journeyperson; and winning the NRCA Construction Leadership award in 2018 and 2019.
Winner: Chinook Scaffold Systems (Nanaimo) – Among Chinook Scaffold System’s initiatives in this category were: providing a workplace that is dedicated to equality for all workers; having a senior management team that is 50% female and a safety team that is 62.5% female; participating in entry level exposure programs such as Heavy Metal Rocks, which exposes high school students to potential careers in trades; partnering with the Prince George Aboriginal Employment and Training Association to provide entry level trades training to Indigenous people; and providing dedicated change rooms and appropriately sized clothing and harnesses for tradeswomen or visible minority workers.
For more information about the Builders Code Scorecard and Builders Code Champion Awards visit www.builderscode.ca/recognition/