Jennifer Khan Participates in Women in Construction Panel: Overcoming Barriers and Finding Allies

On April 25th, Jennifer Khan, VP of Inclusive Diversity participated in a panel with Jennifer Green, Director of Competitions and Business Development, Skills, Ontario; Natasha Braganza, National Program Co-ordinator, Maple Reinders; and Meg Mathes, Senior Manager – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Modern Niagara Group. They had a candid conversation about some of the barriers that women face in the construction industry.

Held by the Ontario General Contractors Association in partnership with the Canadian Association of Women in Construction, this panel spoke to over 500 delegates during the Women in Construction Gala. 

“The obvious answer to ensure women are included is to invite them to the discussions,” said Jennifer Khan.“I also believe sponsorship is important and having someone to "vouch" for you can be helpful. But here’s the catch, some of these aspects may be out of your control.”

Jennifer Khan elaborated on her advice to women in our industry:

“Regardless of where you are in your career, here are three things you can do: Assume positive intent, ask for what you want, and find an ally.”

“First, assume positive intent, always. There might be a legitimate reason why you were not invited to the event/meeting that has nothing to do with your gender. Perhaps the organizer didn't know to invite you, forgot, or something went sideways. Do your best to not let your emotions and how you respond to these types of setbacks, prevent you from being invited to the meeting the next time. Second, I've learned in life that "if you don't ask, you don't get." So, ask for what want. If you do so respectfully, the worst thing someone can say is "no." Lastly, find an ally. If #1-2 don't work, find someone who can relay the message for you, or ask for you to be invited. Don't give up, now may not be the right time, but maybe another day it will.”

Congratulations to Jennifer for representing EllisDon and showcasing our values to their truest extent. We’re incredibly proud to have you!