To celebrate International Women’s Day, Concrete BC has been conducting video interviews with influential women in the concrete industry. One of which included Kryton’s own CEO, Kari Yuers,
Here at Kryton, we couldn’t agree more with their decision to feature Kari. She is a successful CEO and owner of a global business, fellow of ACI, board member of Export Development Canada, and an inductee into the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Council of Governors.
Of course, such success didn’t come without its challenges. Kari’s career began a quarter century ago when women were few and far between in the construction sector, but that didn’t stop her from working hard to achieve great things. In addition to her own tenacity, Kari knows that mentors played an important role in her success, and she is committed to providing the same support to those coming into the industry today.
She’s an innovator, leader, and mentor, and one we are proud to celebrate alongside all the other amazing women in the concrete industry.
Like Concrete BC says, women rock concrete, and the following transcription of Kari’s interview shows why.
Who is a powerful woman that you admire in the concrete industry?
One of the women that had a great impact on me is Kathie Kompauer. She was always willing to share her knowledge and willing to help everybody around her but certainly many of the women in our concrete industry.
Who has been a significant mentor in your life/career?
Well, one of my most significant mentors has been my father, Ron. He was really encouraging of women. He was a huge supporter of women. He said that women can do anything that a man can do, but also, they have intuition more than men do, and you should always listen to it because it will serve you well.
So, another thing my father would say is he says, you know, you should get out there and do some public speaking. Earn your cred in the industry. So, I was really nervous about getting up and speaking in front of people, but I took do it yourself on the stage at The Home Show. I fixed cracks. I started speaking at Construction Specifications and ACI, and it really was a great thing. So I really appreciate that advice is get out there and get into your uncomfort zone.
From a career perspective, what are you most proud of?
Well, I have to say the most proud I am of my career so far is the people at Kryton. They’re doing amazing things on a global stage, and they make things happen. They teach people about durability. They help us solve some of the biggest problems, but we’re building some of the most innovative structures around the world. They’re the reason that Kryton is here today, and it’s certainly the reason why we’ve been able to grow what we have. And it makes it a lot of fun to work around wonderful people with a great sense of humor.
Why do you stay in the concrete industry?
Our industry is full of really down-to-earth people who work hard but also know how to have fun. And I think that joining ACI and going to conventions a couple times a year, among many other industry events, has been really rewarding, and the networks that you create and the friends that you create over the years. I just wouldn’t change it for the world.
Have there been barriers for you within the industry?
You know, when I think about it, I never really looked at it that way. I think it was probably more difficult for me because I was young and I was a woman and I was, you know, had an ethnic look to me. But it just made me work harder to build credibility. And I think respect comes when you show up and bring value to the people around you.
What advice would you give to women new to the industry?
Get out there, and meet people. Build your network. Take advantage of industry events and just getting out and meeting customers, suppliers, everybody around you. Having a natural curiosity around where did they come from, what did they do before they were in the concrete industry. I think you’ll hear lots of great stories, but definitely, those people end up being the foundation that you can lean on to help you when you do have questions. It’s been wonderful to build such a great network in my career over the last 30 years. My father used to always say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And I think that’s true of every industry, but certainly true of the concrete industry.
EXCERPTED FROM CONCRETE BC