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Wilson Women: Empowering Women in the Workplace

Construction has predominantly been a male-dominated industry. According to The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)’s website*, “ As of Dec. 31, 2018, approximately 1,106,919 women were employed in various occupation sectors of the construction industry. Women now make up 9.9 percent of the construction industry in the United States.” Building gender equality is an important component to any company’s growth through employee engagement and retention. 

Women often face different challenges in the workforce and those challenges need to be supported. S. M. Wilson recognized this need in our industry and began the journey of change and empowerment with the founding of Wilson Women and working with the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis. 

Established in fall 2019, Wilson Women’s mission is to “Bring together the women of our company for relationship building, community service, mentorship, networking and learning opportunities.”

The multi-faceted program meets quarterly and hosts a variety of events including external speakers, internal discussions and team-building activities. In addition, Wilson Women supports external endeavors including professional development opportunities and networking events.

In addition to the company’s 29 female employees, the program is also supported by S. M. Wilson’s male associates. All employees are encouraged to participate and contribute to group discussions and events which include a range of topics from unconscious gender bias to leadership training.

At S. M. Wilson, 27% of the company’s employees and 18% of leadership are female. 

“Being a woman in an industry predominantly and historically pursued by men does not have to be the incredible struggle it was decades ago. Fortunately, women have pioneered their way into most construction-related careers,” stated Amy Berg, S. M. Wilson’s President since 2012. 

In addition to Wilson Women, S. M. Wilson & Co. wanted to demonstrate a strong commitment to Workplace Gender Equity and looked to the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis (WFSTL) for guidance. 

Four years ago, the WFSTL launched a scorecard to recognize top places for women to work known as the “Women in the Workplace: Employment Scorecard.” S. M. Wilson was recognized as one of 21 St. Louis employers demonstrating excellence in four areas of workplace gender equity – leadership, compensation, flexible work policies, and recruitment and retention.

The Women in the Workplace Scorecard recognizes 21 small, medium and large companies in the St. Louis region who showed a strong commitment to women in the workplace through measurable outcomes, key policies and best practices, including demonstrating results with women in a minimum of 28 percent of top leadership roles; a minimum of 25 percent of women in the top 10 percent of the most highly compensated employees; a starting wage higher than the Missouri minimum wage; and family-friendly flexible work policies and recruitment and retention programs targeted at advancing women.  

Unlike most “Best Places to Work” reports that rely on employee opinion surveys, the Women in the Workplace: Employment Scorecard looked at objective criteria and outcomes. Through a blind data review process by a seven-person panel, the Scorecard evaluates company employment practices and their impact on gender diversity. Designated organizational representatives were asked to answer specific questions based on existing policies, practices or employee data. 

“Using resources through sources such as WFSTL allows us to be a better employer,” stated Berg. S. M. Wilson continues to develop additional resources and programming through the firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee driven by Diversity Manager, Maggie Farrell.  

To learn more about WFSTL visit: www.wfstl.org/women-in-the-workplace-initiative.

*https://www.nawic.org/nawic/Statistics.asp

S. M. WILSON & CO. NAMED A TOP PLACE FOR WOMEN TO WORK IN NEW “WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE” REPORT

St. Louis, Mo., March 24, 2021- The Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis Recognizes S. M. Wilson & Co. for Demonstrating A Strong Commitment to Workplace Gender Equity.

Today, on Equal Pay Day, S. M. Wilson was recognized by the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis (WFSTL) as a top place for women to work in the fourth annual “Women in the Workplace: Employment Scorecard.” S. M. Wilson was recognized as one of 21 St. Louis employers demonstrating excellence in four areas of workplace gender equity – leadership, compensation, flexible work policies, and recruitment and retention.

Continue reading “S. M. WILSON & CO. NAMED A TOP PLACE FOR WOMEN TO WORK IN NEW “WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE” REPORT”

S. M. Wilson Creates Wilson Women to Promote Females in Construction

The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) reports that 9.9% of the construction workforce is female. As a result, women are provided with fewer opportunities than their male counterparts.

Although the number of women in construction is slowly increasing, females still face an abundance of barriers working in a male-dominated career and S. M. Wilson is taking heed. Knowing that only a small portion of the industry is female, S. M. Wilson created Wilson Women, a program to provide camaraderie and support to the women in their firm.

Established in fall 2019, Wilson Women’s mission is to “bring together the women of our company for relationship building, community service, mentorship, networking and learning opportunities.” The multi-faceted program meets quarterly and hosts a variety of events including external speakers, internal discussions and team-building activities. In addition, Wilson Women supports external endeavors including professional development opportunities and networking events.

“Being a woman in an industry predominantly and historically pursued by men does not have to be the incredible struggle it was decades ago. Fortunately, women have pioneered their way into most construction-related careers. I’m proud to serve as President of a company where females make up 30% of our employees and 18% of our leadership positions,” says S. M. Wilson President, Amy Berg.

Wilson Women at the WISER Conference featuring S. M. Wilson President Amy Berg as a Guest Speaker

Upon pursuing a career in construction, females are faced with a number of challenges including fewer role models, discrimination, pay gap and lack of work-life balance. Through Wilson Women, the company will ensure a workplace where women are engaged, valued and supported in their personal wellness, community involvement and professional advancement.

“The industry as a whole still has a long way to go, but thanks to programs like Wilson Women, we are doing our part to challenge stereotypical norms, provide more resources that empower women and set them up for a successful career in construction,” says Berg.

In addition to the company’s 37 female employees, the program is also supported by S. M. Wilson’s male associates. All employees are encouraged to participate and contribute to group discussions and events which include a range of topics from unconscious gender bias to leadership training.

Group discussion at Wilson Women meeting.

Since its launch, the program has come together on two separate occasions to discuss strengths and areas of improvement for the company from a woman’s perspective, as well as discussing the challenges that need to be addressed outside of the organization. Many have also attended external networking and training sessions including the St. Louis Business Journal’s Women Conference, St. Louis Women in Science, Entrepreneurship & Research (WISER) Conference and more with no signs of slowing down.

“S. M. Wilson realizes the importance of promoting and providing more opportunities to the females in our company. We hope that through programs like Wilson Women we can raise awareness, educate and support the women in construction to make the industry more accessible for all,” says Berg. 

S. M. WILSON IT MANAGER, JAMIE BERZON, HONORED IN CONSTRUCTECH’S ANNUAL WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION LIST FOR 2018

St. Louis, Mo., August 1, 2018 – S. M. Wilson & Co’s IT Manager, Jamie Berzon, was honored in Constructech magazine’s annual Women in Construction List for 2018.

The list recognizes the most successful women working in the construction industry who are constantly proving they have the passion, tenacity and steadfastness to lead the largest and most successful projects in the world, all while leveraging innovative technology. Continue reading “S. M. WILSON IT MANAGER, JAMIE BERZON, HONORED IN CONSTRUCTECH’S ANNUAL WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION LIST FOR 2018”