On this episode of the This is a Man’s World, She Who Dares Wins podcast, our guest is Maria Coulter, also known as The Construction Coach. Maria grew up interested in woodworking, working at an organ factory at one time before going on to college where got into the field of quantity surveying. When she entered the industry in the late 1980’s, she was pleasantly surprised to not be the only woman on site, and she has found strength and encouragement from the comradery that she and her colleagues share.
During the recession, when work was limited, Maria started to notice a decreasing morale in the construction industry, from the top levels all the way down. She realized that most leaders had been chosen for their technical abilities and had never received any leadership training to be able to know how to relate to their direct reports during these leaner times. Maria began “coaching” herself throughout this time and she realized that other construction industry leaders could also use her help in self-discovery, mindset, focusing on their people, and building confidence.
She has now been in business for 5 years and she has begun receiving recognition for her contributions to diversity and inclusion in the construction industry, most recently the British Empire Medal. She is also a Board member of the Construction Industry Council and Chair of its Diversity and Inclusion panel. Maria launched the TRIBE (Together Representing and Influencing Built Environments) Network on Facebook as an online community for expanding mindsets and open conversations.
0:42 – How Maria got into the construction industry.
3:18 – The benefit of having other women on site.
4:27 – Challenges Maria has faced.
7:23 – How Maria got to where she is now.
10:59 – The importance of telling the “real story” to change the industry.
16:25 – It’s all about people.
17:36 – Building confidence at work.
23:18 – Celebrating the little wins.
27:39 – Handling emotions in the workplace.
33:13 – Maria’s recent British Empire Medal.
36:19 – The TRIBE Network Maria has created.
41:50 – Maria’s membership in the Construction Industry Council Board.
43:39 – Advice to women about the construction industry.
“I definitely felt the need for the pressure on myself to be perfect.”
“We’ve got to do better than this. This is not how you get the best out of people.”
“As an industry, if we really want to get this culture change, we’ve got to be able to be ourselves.”
“We don’t give ourselves enough acknowledgment for all the achievements we have done and how far we have come.”
“If feel like what I’m doing is a mission.”
“Young people a lot of the time don’t even know we exist.”
“I feel like I’m getting a voice in the industry to make a difference.”