DemoChicks, Building Women in Construction by Knocking Buildings Down
Building diversity in construction will end the labor gap and create a safer, more successful industry for everyone. Increasing diversity in the office and on the job site should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind; however, the reality is that the thought just isn’t enough. The construction industry looks to leaders to step up and create opportunities for demographics that are underrepresented, as well as to continuously learn and grow diversity opportunities.
One of those leaders is Robin Thorne, the founder of DemoChicks, a nonprofit that introduces young women and girls to nontraditional careers and empowers them to pursue their dreams. Robin is also the President and CEO of CTI, an engineering firm that provides environmental/safety compliance and construction management services. Today we are going to learn how DemoChicks got its start, what the organization does, and how they and others like them are changing the industry forever.
- Women still face hurdles when entering non-traditional careers. One of the biggest challenges that women have to overcome is the lack of respect and credibility they receive in non-traditional professions, like construction. The fact is that the construction industry has always been and continues to be built on the backs of those that have earned the right to be at the table. If someone is sitting at the table they have earned that seat, no matter his or her gender.
- New movements are made in moments of opportunity. DemoChicks was created during a large demo project that encompassed all aspects of the demolition process. Each step was documented and was used to expose demolition and construction skills to a new generation of women and girls. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to change construction for the better; you might be surprised what you find!
- Recruitment doesn’t start at high school. In fact, if construction is being introduced in high school it is normally already too late. The industry needs to band together and expose the exciting and fun elements of construction at much earlier ages. DemoChicks creates opportunities for young girls, many that are still in elementary school, to experience what it is like to build, planting the seed of construction as a fun and exciting career option for their futures.