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May 14, 2021

Breaking Barriers and Paving the Way for Women in Construction

The construction industry has made positive advancements in recent decades, especially when it comes to technology, engineering and safety. But one area in which the industry continues to lag is the makeup of its workforce. In 2019, women comprised only 10 percent of the construction workforce. And while there is some silver lining – including a growing number of women managers in the field – there’s more work to be done. Fortunately, there are leaders like Letitia Hanke paving the way for women to enter the field of construction and build successful careers.

In this episode of the Mobile Workforce Podcast, Letitia talks about her journey starting out in roofing to now being president and CEO of ARS Roofing. She and host Mike Merrill discuss breaking into the business, navigating the industry and why mentorship is imperative for up-and-comers in construction – especially women who need to see themselves represented. They also talk about how construction leaders can ensure a level playing field for all.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Find a mentor (or become a mentor). It can be intimidating to start a new job or navigate a new industry, which is why mentorship is critical. Whether it’s booking time with business coaches or chatting with leaders in other industries, everyone can benefit from having trusted mentors to get advice from on navigating the peaks and valleys that come with a career. Mentorship can be especially valuable for women to build a sense of community in an industry they’re outnumbered by men nine to one in.
  2. Network, network, network. They say if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. Letitia advises networking and building relationships throughout the industry. By sharing best practices with peer groups and sharing notes, everyone can work together on making the industry better across the board.
  3. Prioritize expanding the construction workforce. Like every other industry, the construction space faces worker shortages and is in need of top talent. But leaders can turn this around by broadening who they recruit and conduct outreach to. By being inclusive of women, and workers of all ages and backgrounds, the construction industry will gain a competitive edge.