Women in Construction Week is an annual event sponsored by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) that highlights achievements of women in the industry and celebrates the past, present and future of women of construction. This week the industry collectively recognizes their contributions and spotlights the many career opportunities for women in construction and related fields.
In a time when the industry is struggling with labor shortages and a highly competitive landscape, women can help meet and overcome some of the challenges the industry is facing. A more diverse workforce can offer new and different perspectives and help an organization be more innovative, more competitive and ultimately more successful. In fact, a recent report by McKinsey & Co. reveals that gender-diverse companies are 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies with less gender diversity.
While the benefits are clear, recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce continues to be a struggle for the construction industry. Women still only make up about 10 percent of the workforce.
As a leading construction management industry in the U.S., Adolfson and Peterson Construction (AP) outperforms the national average with women making up nearly 20 percent of their total workforce and 25 percent of the executive leadership team.
“We are proud of our progress, but we know we can do better,” said Jeff Hansen, CEO at AP. “We continue to focus on diversity in our leadership and throughout the organization. And recognizing and celebrating the many women who are making a difference in our company and industry every day is part of that focus.”
Andrea Scardino is a client coordinator in AP’s Southwest Region who manages office operations and administrative requirements across a diverse client portfolio. She stumbled into the industry by chance, but her work ethic, effective planning and innovation have led to her success at AP.
“I like seeing the results of our projects,” said Scardino. “I can see the progression from the time we submit a proposal until our team walks off the job site. I feel like I make a difference every day.”
As a part of AP’s Business Services team in Minneapolis, Paris Otremba leads the company’s learning and development efforts, including training, leadership and professional development. With 14 years of experience in the construction industry, she’s developed and launched hundreds of courses to help team members achieve their learning and development goals and advance their careers. She was also a founding member and actively involved in the early stages of the Ace Mentor Program of America – Twin Cities with a mission to inspire high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering and construction.
“I’m amazed by the dedicated and extremely skilled construction professionals that I get to work with every day, and I’m thrilled to help them achieve their career goals,” said Otremba. “Our mission to build people is not just a tagline. It’s deeply ingrained in the culture of our company, and I’m honored to play a role in helping our talented team members grow and succeed.”
Christina Paraliticci is an assistant project manager in our Gulf States region and has been with the company for seven years. She has grown and developed her career during this time.
“I have found my professional voice at AP,” said Paraliticci. “My ideas and opinions have value because they come from experience and discipline. With that voice I have become a more effective leader in my project team and among my subcontractors, design teams, and owners.”
As a project manager in AP’s Midwest region, Madison Young currently manages projects with a focus on safety, budgets, contracts, schedules, trade contractor and owner relations, and supplier coordination in cooperation with onsite teams and superintendents.
“I have had opportunities to learn and grow in my career at AP,” Young said. “Every single day on the job is different. There is something so magical about having the power to transform a plot of land into a brand-new structure during the course of a project. I’m so proud of everything we have worked on to date.”
Tonie Beck is a project and field engineer in AP’s Mountain States region who has been making an impact at the organization for more than four years.
“I like the fast pace of construction,” said Beck. “The challenges keep my attention and allow me to continually grow. Coming from the military, I respect that the job requires hard work and an attitude to overcome challenges, and I thrive in this challenging work environment.”
Although Women in Construction Week is only one week a year, AP is focusing on gender diversity year-round and is trying to recruit more women across the organization and promote them into leadership positions. Women can visit www.a-p.com/careers for more information on AP and a career in construction.