Construction is among the top three prevalently male-dominated industries in the world. It can be difficult for women in construction to find their place within the industry, establish mentors, and ultimately, to feel connected to the industry as a whole. Connection and engagement are essential to employee retention, and Crane Renovation group strives to help our employees navigate their career path. The importance of building a culture of empowerment is vital to any business, but especially in industries like construction that are more likely to lack workplace diversity.
At Crane Renovation Group, we hold our core values dear to us and our family-oriented culture is perhaps the most fundamental. While we pride ourselves in being more diverse than most construction companies, we still maintain a lower ratio of women to men. As we look to create a culture of female empowerment, facilitating inclusion is key to making that connection. We began by hosting quarterly Women of Crane Renovation Group happy hours to combat the gender disparity by empowering and fostering a network of support for the women working in our male dominated field.
The female-focused happy hours took on a life of their own. Initially as a hushed, secret buzz around the office that soon grew into a source of pride among all the ladies involved. The energy present at each happy hour was more intoxicating than the cocktails, and we quickly created a dynamic that enabled us to transform the organization as a whole: the more we understood each other’s role in the company and journey in the industry, the more we could support each other to affect positive change. We were able to implement improved, and more innovative, ways of doing things across departments.
Our most recent event was a wine and paint night. We were honored and fortunate to include all the women of Crane Group (our parent company), including our fearless female leader, CEO Tanny Crane. All of our events have been focused on fostering a powerful female network, but this happy hour was designed to go beyond that. We wanted to empower women through art.
We supplied canvases and paint supplies, as well as inspiration and guidance via two local artists. Everyone who wanted to paint was encouraged to do so. It can be powerfully therapeutic to paint, but we never could have anticipated how impactful this event was for some of the ladies. There is something special about coming together to do something you don’t regularly do, and may not even be comfortable with. Everyone who painted a canvas walked away with something they were proud of.
In addition, with a little bit of internet inspiration, we got the ambitious idea to build a large-scale, abstract, relief sculpture out of 150 hand cut and painted wooden blocks. Every woman who showed up that night painted part of a huge piece of artwork that now hangs in our lobby. When the women of Crane Renovation Group walk into the building every work day, we see the fruits of our labor and feel proud that together we built something bigger than ourselves—something we could not have done alone.