Ontario Construction News staff writer
For Kelly Braun, being a woman in the construction industry was never something she questioned. The CHRO and co-owner of Kraun Electric credits her mom, who worked alongside her dad in the family business as her inspiration.
Women in Niagara (WIN), a council of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC), held the annual Women in Business Awards to honour the outstanding achievements of Niagara’s leaders in business and non-profits.
Awards were given in many categories recognizing entrepreneurship, community contribution, the arts, non-profits, science, and health care.
Braun received the Entrepreneur Award.
“Every year, we are astounded at the leadership and achievements of Niagara’s female leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Grace Eldajani, Chair of Women in Niagara. “To have so many candidates for these awards is a great problem to have. It really shows how Niagara women are stepping up and stepping forward.”
Braun thanked her mom in her acceptance speech when she received the Entrepreneur Award from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Awards on Nov. 19.
“I’ve seen more young women applying to the trades this past year than I did in my 24 years prior to that combined,” she said. “For young women, try it, do it, get out there. Work with your hands. Get dirty. There’s no ceiling. There are amazing jobs to be had in the construction industry.”
Kraun started the full-service electrical contractor 25 years ago with her brother and father, when she was 18. The company has grown from four employees to over 100 as the number of women in skilled trades has slowly increased.
Today women make up 43 per cent of the company’s leadership team – above the 29 per cent global average.
The WIBAs aim to encourage more women to seek out and reach for leadership roles in business, politics and our community. Join us to celebrate the stories of women in business in Niagara.
“It is truly inspirational to gather once again and to see the incredible work being done throughout these difficult times,” said Mishka Balsom, CEO of the GNCC. “We hope that these bold and forward-thinking women will inspire others – it is truly the key to unlocking the potential of our community.”