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Why Every Little Girl Should Want to Be in Construction with Kellie Lee

Hey Construction Nation,

When I was a child, I was always my dad’s helper. I learned to measure before cutting, how to mix “mud” (my dad’s name for concrete), lay bricks, and build things with him. He always had a “project.” It was his happy place and what he loved to do. 

My Grandfather (my dad’s father) was a developer. He bought ranches and built custom homes and retail stores. My mom’s mother was a developer, and she bought neighborhoods and vacant land. She sold the land when it was the right time to build something commercial. My family set me up to love construction. I wish every little boy and girl could learn to love building things!!

Kellie Lee and her husband wanted their daughter to love construction, and at least see construction as a viable career path. So, they have set out to write a series of books that will create role models based on real women working in the industry. This is a real passion project for Kellie, and I think you will love seeing her passion in this month’s episode of the Lead with Trust podcast.

Until I did this series on Bringing Women into Construction, I never really realized how important it is to have role models for those we want to attract into our industry. Helping to create industry role models is something you can do for your company and the industry. By highlighting your people to others in the industry, people we need to attract will see themselves and then see construction (or your company) and a place they want to work. This is especially true for those less represented in our industry: women, people of color, etc. Without role models, people actually feel unwelcome. And I am still amazed at how many people just don’t know about construction, or how to become a part of construction. So, they don’t even know that it is an option for them.

Here are some ideas for how you can help create your employees into role models for your company and the industry:

  1. Have them get involved in a construction trade association.
  2. Put announcements in ENR and other construction publications about their advancements within your company or the industry, like earning their EIT, or PMP, or IPI
  3. Take them with you when recruiting, either at a fair, college, or high school. 
  4. Have them author a paper or co-author a paper (or give a presentation) for a trade publication. 
  5. Spotlight their story to all your employees (many of your new hands will come from your employee’s friends and family). 

These are just a few ways you can help grow the industry by highlighting the great people you already have!! We have 1/2 Billion jobs open right now, and it is growing. We need to have young people “see” themselves as part of our industry!!


I was asked recently, “How do you tell a poor performing employee that they are failing, besides telling them that they aren’t doing a good job and you need to let them go?”

Read my answer in the July 24th OrgMetrics newsletter.


Check out my Lead With Trust column in UCON Magazine. In July’s column, “Two New Safety Measures,” I share tips on how to level up project safety by addressing your team’s psychological and emotional safety needs.

Stay well Construction Nation,

Lead with Trust is a PodcastNewsletter (sign up to get your copy), and YouTube Channel.



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