Annual Conference Experience August 2022
Destiny Dawson Gerding Builders; Project Engineer NAWIC Member since April 2022 Minneapolis, Minnesota Aug 17-20, 2022 The principal note I can make about my experience at the 2022 NAWIC Annual Conference is that the experience was one of enrichment. I had an amazing, fulfilling experience coming together with many other women across the U.S. who take pride in being among the few Women in Construction! There were so many kind women who reached out throughout the conference to introduce themselves which I was thankful for because I didn’t know anybody. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to have represented Chapter #77 this year, and I am hopeful that I’ll be able to continue to do so in the coming years. It was great to hear that most people at conference were first timers such as myself because it went to represent the notion that NAWIC is steadily growing! There is still a lot to be done in recruiting, but many women are doing a great job of informing our communities about NAWIC and the opportunities this organization brings to many women/young women looking to find their way in this industry. There were many valuable remarks made by the speakers at the various breakout sessions which I wanted to share: · PNW attendance – 29 voting, 1 non-voting · July 31, 2022 – 5682 NAWIC members · Be Authentic, Always; Be you, for you · Book – Unlimited Power; Tony Robins (highly recommended) · Culture matters · Surround yourself with your competition · We all know there are current shortages industry wide & even outside of industry; To help mitigate – manage supplier relationships, prefab, integrate vertically, buy bulk, direct (personal) transportation · Less than 25% of companies have an active engagement plan/strategy (even though our industry’s #1 asset is our people) – Reference Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs · Lean-in-Circles · From Jacobs; Start outreach @ elementary school level! · *Just because you don’t have a toxic culture, doesn’t mean you have an inclusive culture
· *Don’t forget, DE&I is NOT just race, gender, & discrimination – It is also: demographic differences, recruiting & retaining underrepresented (i.e., out of industry) talent, skill, training & coaching, equipping leaders w/inclusive leadership skills, building employee resource groups, voice of employees, leader behavior, management of emotional fatigue, evaluation & evolution of systems/policies/practices in place (even if initially well-intended), promotion & evaluation & succession, building supplier/subcontractor diversity programs
· *Why DE&I: level-up culture, personally benefit individuals, create a competitive advantage, deliver our brand promise; also, WHY NOT?
· Kotter’s 8 Steps – Change Management
A few notes which were made specifically during the chapter leadership training include:
· Only (10) membership meetings, (4) business meetings necessary per year? *Should verify
· Take surveys! Chapter input is valuable, and surveys can be anonymous
· Create action minutes
· Communicate with chapter about board meeting activities/decisions
· We can audit national board meeting minutes
· Create a newsletter and include national/regional events
· Board meeting template online
· Recognize member personal accomplishments
*There was so much more to pull from the experience, but the list would be too long!
One personal note I made from the experience which I’d like to work to change is the lack of women of color still in the industry. This is important to me because I am a woman of color, and though sometimes underlying, the truth is that representation matters. We need more women of diverse backgrounds and colors to join the industry for our own int