Vicki O’Leary, General Organizer for Safety and Diversity for the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers, has received an Award of Excellence from Engineering News-Record magazine.
Photo Credit: ENR and Jessica Savidge
Since coming on board in 2016, she spearheaded several Iron Workers (IW) initiatives to improve diversity and safety, including paid maternity leave and anti-harassment programs. “Vicki is passionate about changing the culture to ensure women and other marginalized groups are on equal footing,” says IW General President Eric Dean.
In 2017, the IW and employer-ironworker partnership IMPACT introduced a paid maternity leave program, the first of its kind in the building trades. This was followed by the “Be That One Guy” program to fight workplace harassment, by enlisting bystanders to take a stand against psychological violence, harassment and intimidation of any kind against anyone.
“Workplace harassment is a dangerous distraction in our line of work. When ironworkers are distracted from their tasks full of potential hazards, it could lead to life-threatening consequences,” says O’Leary.