WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION WEEK SPOTLIGHT: Danielle Fournier, HR Business Partner

WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION WEEK SPOTLIGHT: Danielle Fournier, HR Business Partner

How long have you been in the construction industry?

I started my career in the construction industry almost seven years ago when I started working for O&G.

How did you get started in the construction industry?

At the time, my stepfather was working as a gate attendant for the Danbury Mason Yard. He had told me about a job opening as a receptionist in the showroom. Not knowing much about construction, I was hesitant, but I went for it anyway. It was a lot to take in at first. Still, I quickly learned about the business and the industry, eventually making my way to the human resources department, which is what I went to school for. Now, being in HR, I learn more about construction every day because a large part of my job is to talk about the different roles that exist within the industry.

Tell us about your role at O&G.

My role as an HR Business Partner is never boring because of my wide range of responsibilities. I coordinate an array of employee experiences, such as employee onboarding and our college summer internship program. I also participate in a group called YPG with the Building Group, a cohort of young professionals who gather at least once each quarter to discuss opportunities for change that they would like to affect within the company and their division. I sit in and listen to bridge the gap between them and ownership. Alongside the YPG board, we try to ensure these changes come to fruition. Another important part of my role in HR is compliance. I develop and submit Affirmative Action Plans for many of our different projects that have state and/or federal funding, which allows the state to see that we employ and subcontract with diverse individuals and companies.

What’s most exciting or fulfilling about your role?

One of the most fulfilling parts of my role is that I advocate for change for our employees. By providing a listening ear and recognizing the value of a positive employee experience and work culture, we are able to increase satisfaction among employees as well as attract top talent. I enjoy getting to know our new hires as well as people who have been with the company for a long time and hearing their stories about what makes O&G unique, and a great place to work. Whether they come to work for O&G or not, I thoroughly enjoy talking to women about how they can make a difference in construction. I feel proud each time we hire a woman because, together, we are breaking barriers in a male-dominated industry.

How does O&G support you in your role?

The company supports me in my role in many ways. I would say that the most valuable support comes from the open-mindedness of the company’s owners. They are always listening and considering ways to improve if they are convinced the change will benefit the company as a whole. I also find value in being able to go out into the field to experience things hands-on so that I know what I’m talking about when I tell people about our company. I am also encouraged to take advantage of training opportunities often, which helps me stay on top of current HR practices and laws and be better at my job overall.

This is a small way of recognizing and celebrating Danielle as she is part of the team that manages the most valuable asset of O&G Industries – our employees. Danielle stands out because she is real and genuine in all situations at work. She works from a center of kindness and compassion and sees herself as being part of something bigger – our company. And she believes that our success as a company depends on how well we serve, cooperate, and collaborate with each other. And finally, how can you not smile when you hear her laugh and see her huge grin on her face.

Beth Dupont, HR & EEO Officer

What’s your advice for other women looking to enter the construction industry?

If you are a woman looking to enter the construction industry or a woman who is not necessarily looking to go into construction but you are unsure of the type of business you want to work for, I would strongly encourage you to try construction (especially if you enjoy excitement!). There are a wide variety of jobs required to run a successful construction company, and chances are there is probably one out there for you.

Additional thoughts from Danielle…

Choosing a career in construction was one of the most rewarding choices I have made. One of my goals has always been to get a job where I love coming to work every day – and I have found that with O&G. If you or someone you know is considering a career in construction, please have them apply for a job at O&G at www.ogind.com/jobs.