Women are a growing force within the construction industry. And to prove it, these female leaders in construction are making a name for themselves and a place for women within the male-dominated field. From presidents and owners to project supervisors and truck drivers, many of these women have credited the National Association for Women in Construction as a key factor in their careers. Read on to discover some of the current female leaders in construction, how they’re making an impact within the industry, and how they are working to inspire the next generation of women in construction.
Krystal Vierkant – Owner, Rock On Trucks
Earlier this year Krystal Vierkant was named the winner of the Top Women In Construction 2020 feature with Finance & Commerce, heading a list of several prominent female leaders in construction. As the owner of Rock On Trucks LLC and Rock On Companies for nearly 20 years, starting her first endeavor at age 25, she has faced many challenges as a woman business owner in a predominately male industry. Between all of her businesses in Rock On Companies, Krystal has brought in $10 million in revenue within her first 5 years of being a business owner. Her companies currently offer services that include certified DOT inspections, aluminum and steel welding, aluminum end dumps, dump trucks for roadway aggregates or hot mix, and much more. Despite a devastating fire that wiped out her facilities two years ago, Krystal has rebuilt her businesses back to full operating capacities and continues to use her company resources for charitable events within the community.
Angela Cacace – Creator of #MoveOverBob movement
Angela was working as a barber, doing small renovation projects on the side, when she entered a contest sponsored by This Old House magazine. Her and her husband’s remodeled kitchen won the top prize with the publication, and she immediately enrolled in a building program to begin a career as a contractor. In a recent article highlighting female leaders in construction in The Washington Post, Angela recalled being one of six women in class on her first day and stated, “I remember an instant feeling of confidence that we had a place here.” She took to social media to share her excitement, using the self-created hashtag, #MoveOverBob. The hashtag took off and lead to a growing online movement inspiring other female leaders in construction to take pride in their abilities to work alongside men in the industry. Since her original post, the hashtag has turned into its own Facebook page, website, and Instagram account highlighting females working in the industry.
Kabri Lehrman-Schmid – Project Superintendent, Hensel Phelps Construction Co.
While studying as a civil-engineering student, Kabri became interested in a renovation project at the Pentagon. Knowing she wanted to be involved in the work, Kabri walked on site and asked a superintendent for an internship. From here, her career in construction began. She has worked for Hensel Phelps Construction Co. for over 12 years, and currently leads all safety efforts on her jobsites. Being a female leader in construction, Kabri has been given the opportunity to speak at NAWIC events and other speaking engagements, while also serving as the NAWIC Puget Sound board director. She hopes to inspire other female leaders in construction, particularly those in the Seattle, Washington area and in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Marilyn Grabowski – President, Atlantic Infra
Marilyn was first introduced to the world of construction by another female in her life – her grandmother. Watching her grandmother run a residential building company in the 1960s, Marilyn helped with small tasks like picking out paint colors. Years later, after meeting her husband who was working for a paving company, the couple decided to buy into the struggling business to revive it. Marilyn took over as President of Atlantic Infra and now employs over 100 people in the thriving company. She credits her fellow female leaders in construction, along with associations like NAWIC, for constant support. In an interview with Construction Business Owner, Marilyn has stated, “I’ve been in this industry 18 years, and, for the first 10, many asked me to ‘Please send the man to do the job.” Her advice to women in the industry is to keep working hard, know your work and your worth, and not to be afraid to stand out as a lady.
The National Association for Women in Construction is officially headquarted in Fort Worth, Texas. As the leading association for women in the industry, NAWIC has been providing resources to inspire the next female leaders in construction since 1953. Now serving over 115 chapters across the United States, NAWIC offers their members access to educational resources, sponsorships, scholarships, the chance to network with industry professionals through conferences, and much more. For more information on how to become a NAWIC member or to learn more about NAWIC, contact us today.