Women in Construction
A Grit & Grace Speaker Series
As the number of women who are working in construction continues to rise, strong female mentors are crucial for these individuals. At the recent “Grit and Grace” panel, hosted by McCownGordon Construction several female construction company owners provided insight into what it’s like as a woman in the industry, how they got where they are, and what continues to drive them. Moderated by industry trailblazer and McCownGordon’s Chief People Officer Nancy Whitworth, the panel consisted of Amy Slattery, Owner of Odimo Architects, LaTasha McCall, Owner of LM2 Construction, Brandy McCombs, Owner of IBC Builders and Lisa Garney, Owner of LMG Construction. These five women discussed the grit (passion + perseverance) and grace (gratitude + compassion) required to forge their own paths.
Perseverance has played an important role in Slattery’s journey. She noted that earlier in her career, she “was looking for a combination of dedication to high-quality design and high-quality client service.” She eventually started her own architecture company, Odimo. McCombs acknowledges that being a woman in construction can come with challenges. However, she persevered through the earlier stages of her career, often shouldering more than her share, eventually owning her own business.
Passion fueled Garney’s entrepreneurship. She learned to balance creativity with careful planning as she got involved in the construction industry. “See what it is you want to create and then start putting the steps in place to create it,” she encourages. For McCall, being flexible and knowledgeable about every aspect of construction has been a major factor in her personal success. Her passion about the business, from minute safety details to overseeing projects, has helped set her apart as a strong leader.
Gratitude for diversity in the workplace was a realization for Slattery. She says we need to “love what every color brings to the table and not be afraid of 3-inch, red stilettos.” McCombs expressed her thankfulness for the quality mentorship she has received over the past few years.
Compassion for the community is part of what sets women like McCall apart. After being mentored by McCownGordon, she was inspired to carry that spirit of mentorship on to others. She hired a local homeless artist who was often at a job site to paint a mural of her company logo, which led to the man finding employment. For Garney, compassion for fellow women has been rewarding. She is now providing ways for other women to forge their own paths since founding LMG university, an internal school.
All of these panelists came from diverse backgrounds, but they are all great examples for not only women in construction, but for anyone who is passionate about pursuing their dreams.