Welcome to the Construction DEI Talks podcast, where we dive into diversity, equity, and inclusion as they relate to the construction industry. Co-hosts Jorge Quezada, Vice President of Inclusive Diversity at Granite Construction, Te'Osha Baker-Bunch, Stephanie Roldan, Director of Lean Culture at Rosendin, and Aby Combs, Inclusive Diversity Business Partner at Granite Construction, bring new conversations with subject matter experts and discuss how we can make our industry better and stronger. Today, the conversation features guest Angie Hart, Senior Vice President from Rosendin. Stephanie and Aby co-host in today’s episode to discuss how Angie began her career in construction, equity in the workplace and how to look for potential growth in employees.
Angie fell into a career in construction by starting off as a receptionist at Rosendin, and then she worked her way up. After thirty two years working for this company, she is now the Vice President of Rosendin over California. Since Angie did not start off working in construction, she shares that you need to have confidence in what you are talking about, even as you are learning. She also talks about a recent time she felt different in the workplace was when she was the only woman in a meeting and the customer did not want to have Angie on the job. This individual thought she couldn’t do the job because she was a woman. She excelled at the job and that man called her CEO saying that Angie knew her stuff, but she did not appreciate how she was judged on her gender, not on her knowledgeability.
She also discusses how she was the first woman to be a Project Manager or first woman Vice President at Rosendin, and that she is paving the way for women at this company. Angie says you need to look at people for what they know. Too many people judge people in the workplace based on their outward appearance, but we should be looking at their inward characteristics, how they do their job and how qualified they are. You also need to have a diverse team with different thought processes and backgrounds, so you can have different opinions. Angie says that she would not be where she is today if she didn’t have men mentors that supported and believed in her. In looking for a mentee, she says you need to look for potential and help them to grow and learn. She states be willing to have a male mentor. Most men don’t want to have a woman mentee because they think women can’t be tough enough for the job, but unless you teach them and show them the ropes, you don’t know whether or not an employee is ready.
They also discuss equity in that employers want to hire diverse people to create a more welcoming environment, but we can’t hire people just because of what they look like, otherwise we are doing them a disservice. She talks about how her team has built equity by making a list of competencies that they share with employees to give everyone an equal opportunity to succeed. This list has all of the skills needed for a promotion, but if an employee doesn't meet this list, then here are specific items they can work on. They also created a 48 week program for anybody, where new hires can learn from different departments and are hired after completing the program based on employer feedback and success at the job. Lastly, Angie says you need to be confident, knowledgeable about your workplace and what your job is, and always speak up about your opinions and ideas so you can be heard.
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Connect with Angie Hart.