Publisher’s Message: Second Annual Women In Construction Supplement

Anastasia Barnes

Lift as you climb. That was one of the many inspiring takeaways in Jane Edmonds’ keynote speech at the Construction Institute’s sixth annual Women Who Build Summit, held last month at UMass Amherst.

Lift as you climb: what powerful imagery. The message was impactful. I’m a visual person, so I imagined myself climbing a mountain. Picture this: I’m physically exhausted and emotionally drained from scaling this beast of a mountain. Then, I look back. I see a line of women behind me, scaling the same rock. They are my sisters, my tribe. I reach my arm out behind me and grab a woman’s forearm, and lift her with all of my strength until she is almost beside me. She smiles and does the same for the woman behind her.

That’s what is happening in the A/E/C industry, across all disciplines. Many women in executive level positions want to make change. Real change comes when it starts at the top: a commitment to diversity and inclusion. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that much of this change is happening with our allies, the men that support and promote us.

According to Lior Aitzman’s article, Women In Construction: The State of our Industry in 2020 (https://www.bigrentz.com/blog/women-construction), 13% of construction firms are owned by women, and within the past five years, there has been a 64% growth in female owners!  See, there is progress. It may be slower than we want, but it’s happening. The same article states that there is a growing number of female managers in the field. This is likely attributable to the many programs that are geared to attract, and eventually retain, young women in the industry: the Girls in Trades Conference, STEMfems, and many others.

Climbing the ranks of any industry is challenging for most women, but even more so in A/E/C. What I find most fascinating is how many industries, across all disciplines, have a network that is there to support women; even the most niche of organizations. From women in engineering to women in HVACR, there’s a “club” for you!

On a personal note, I want to give special thanks to the women on my staff: Betsy, for her persistence in sales; Emily, for her creativity with stories; Sara, for her attention to detail; Yvonne, for her award-winning talent; Marion, my grandmother and the editor of High-Profile, for her undying commitment to grammar; and lastly, my mom and the co-founder of High-Profile, for having created a solid foundation on which to build.

We’re excited to share our second annual Women In Construction supplement, which highlights women from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, from all across New England.

Be sure to check out our calendar at high-profile.com/events for events happening during WIC Week (March 1-7).

Happy Women’s History Month!

Anastasia

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