VANCOUVER ISLAND – Being in business for 43 years is an incredible milestone in itself, but for Lori Appleton, President and Founder of Yellow Sheet Construction Data and Analytics, advancing women’s place in the construction industry has been the real prize.
“Yellow Sheet has always been ahead of the curve, we haven’t hesitated to make moves,” said Appleton. “Because the construction industry is male-dominated, Yellow Sheet broke barriers with our resourcefulness and our fresh, uniquely female perspective – that is what advanced our success and it is a pivotal piece of our history.”
Yellow Sheet has been nothing short of a pillar in Canadian construction for over four decades, providing crucial building data for British Columbians across Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Powell River. In addition to having the most comprehensive private and public construction leads and bids, the company continually mines, stores and disseminates reports on project descriptions, teams and project stages.
“I started the company just coming out of private and public sector jobs, but the one that really led me into the publishing business was working with the RCMP in their crime index department publishing the most-wanted bulletins,” said Appleton.
In fact, Appleton’s time working for the RCMP is the inspiration behind the entire company.
“The rap sheet in a criminal file is called a yellow sheet,” says Appleton. “So, when I left the RCMP, it was always the idea that we were going to have all the details, we were going to have the insider scoop on every construction project in our region.”
Naturally, the publishing industry has undergone numerous changes since the company’s inception and Yellow Sheet has navigated from paper base to faxing and running telephone lines all night, into the technological revolution and everything digital. The company never backed down or feared redirection to be ahead of the industry standard.
Out of everything though, Appleton feels most proud for being part of a company that pushed the envelope and embraced a way of doing things that wasn’t so common years ago.
“We have always been there for women, ready to accommodate them and their families – working four days a week, being able to leave early to pick up children – these things were embraced and celebrated at Yellow Sheet,” said Appleton.
“In every aspect of construction on Vancouver Island, women are significant anchors and often they are the industry leaders. I’ll name just a few, Christine Lintott Architecture, School District 61, Saywell Contracting and UDI – Capital Region.”
When it comes to insider information, Appleton has found herself genuinely aghast at the current building permit data coming out of the Island and beyond.
“Having been through every market, I am surprised at what’s happening currently,” said Appleton. “My anticipation would have been that we would have already seen a decline on Vancouver Island but that is not the case at all.”
“We are seeing stronger numbers than we have for the last three years on issued building permit information. It’s not just projected development based on rezoning applications or development permits going through the municipality, these are hard numbers that are coming out of the ground.”
As for the future, Appleton intends to continue advancing the Yellow Sheet process.
“We will continue with more depth on our analytics, sifting through massive data sets to share new insights and knowledge about the construction industry,” said Appleton.
She remains fully engaged with women in the construction industry and is excited to continue her mentorship of women entering the profession.
Business Examiner Staff