Canadian Contractor

By Canadian Contractor staff   

The Dilemma: Boy’s club

Canadian Contractor

If you have a solution to Henry’s dilemma, email your entry to and put “Henry dilemma” in the subject line. Include your email information in your response. Please don’t post your response in the comments section on our website.

Deadline is July 10, 2023. 

Henry decided to grow his family business and bring in new employees to help handle expanding projects. He has noticed that one of his new employees, Jess, has started showing up to work late, taking long breaks and, is quiet and reserved. When she was hired, Jess was ambitious, excited, and always up for a challenge. She is the only woman working on a male-dominant worksites. Henry speaks with Jess about her change in behaviour and Jess explains she has been feeling underestimated and isolated by the “boys club” of the family business, so has not felt comfortable coming and being at work. Jess says she knows the way she went about her discomfort was wrong but didn’t want to be seen as a complainer or ungrateful for the job. She is thinking of resigning. When he hired Jess, Henry was eligible for wage subsidy, as she is a minority in the construction business. He does not want to lose her as an employee and is afraid this will affect his business’ reputation. What should Henry do?

  1. Fire Jess. This clearly isn’t the right fit for her.
  2. Offer Jess an alternate job in the business, somewhere she will feel more comfortable.
  3. Talk to his male crew members about their behaviour and attitude towards Jess. Remind them she is equally as capable.
  4. Hold an equity, diversity and inclusion training course to refresh employees and management on the impacts of their behaviours.
  5. Something else?



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