By Acacia Ashick

It was not long ago that a woman in construction was a mere novelty, a token female in a male dominated world. Associations and support like the Canadian Association of Women in Construction (CAWIC) have been monumental in turning this mindset around. Most recently CAWIC held an inspiring leadership seminar emphasizing this message.

With women comprising an ever-increasing percentage of the construction workforce, it’s encouraging that there are a greater number of professional development and social events aimed directly at women in the industry.  Women’s Leadership Development Workshop, the most recent in a series of seminars hosted by CAWIC, was held on Saturday, November 10, 2018 in Toronto and was attended by more than 50 professionals working in the construction industry. The focus of the seminar was interpersonal relationships for women in construction and delved into topic areas like: influence, power and trust, building and maintaining relationships for success and personality styles and their impacts.

Guest speaker Renata Kuprinskiene, Leadership and Life Balance Consultant and Coach from Relive Coaching focused the interactive session on how to become an active leader in your work and personal life, how to integrate personalities within a workplace and how to find your unique strengths and confidence. Assessing your own leadership style as well as those who you work with was a key aspect of the seminar and accomplished with the use of the DISC Assessment method. Using the assessment tool, attendees were shown how to assess their own personality type (Dominant, Inspiring, Supportive, Cautious) as well as those around them to determine how to best work together toward common goals.

More than just great information to take back to your job, what the popularity of the event said to me was that women have come into their own in the construction industry. We have earned our spot at the boardroom table, job site or client office and the kind of information offered at these types of seminars will serve us well in our dealings with people in the industry.

Kudos to Luana Buratynski, Director of Special Events at CAWIC, for putting together and promoting the seminar series and to Ellis Don, Aird Berlis and McLean Chimney Co. Ltd., for their sponsorship. Check back to the CAWIC website ( often to find out when the next seminar will take place and encourage the women in our industry to attend, after all, they’ve earned it.

Acacia Ashick is a Construction Recruitment Advisor at Harbinger Network Inc. and specializes in the ICI sector. Acacia’s knowledge of the current Canadian construction market and her insight into career development allow her to successfully connect great talent with the best construction companies in Canada.