This week Adolfson & Peterson (AP) is celebrating national Women in Construction Week and the many exceptional women working in the company and the industry. The annual event is sponsored by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWC) and provides an opportunity to thank and recognize women who work in construction, while establishing AP as a premier employer for women.
Women make up only 10.3% of all roles in the construction industry and only 2.5% on job sites. AP outperforms the national average with 17% of company roles held by women and 6% on job sites but wants to do better as a company. The ultimate goal is to recruit and support a diverse workforce in our offices and on job sites.
“I am grateful to work with exceptional women leaders every day,” said Jeff Hansen, CEO. “By celebrating women and their accomplishments—and by demonstrating the great opportunities that exist in the company and the industry—we will be able to better attract and retain women team members now and in the future.
Attracting a diverse workforce with different skills and viewpoints helps companies to grow and thrive. Benefits of a more diverse workforce include expanded creativity and innovation, a broader range of experiences and perspectives for decision making, a more inclusive company culture that fosters loyalty and engagement and reduces turnover, a positive public brand and reputation, and ultimately, increased productivity and profitability.
This week AP will profile women team members from across the company and feature their accomplishments internally and on social media. Some of the outstanding team members we will feature this week include:
• Michelle Thompson, Assistant Project Manager
• Melissa Montiel, Project/Field Engineer
• Corey King, Senior Marketing Coordinator
• Michelle Chaples, Senior Project Coordinator
• Melissa Bennett, Director of Business Development
• Madison Young, Project Manager
• Cara Peterson, VP and General Counsel
• Maria Rauster, Safety Coordinator
Cara Peterson, Vice President and General Counsel, has been with AP for five years. She got into the industry by chance but says she has really enjoyed her time with the company.
“Every day is different, and I still encounter new challenges that I have never addressed before,” Cara said. “I have the opportunity to add value and affect change, and I enjoy helping teams solve problems and resolve issues so that we can move forward together as a stronger company.”
Cara said the company has been supportive in her career and professional growth.
“I have a voice here and my role within the company is respected and appreciated,” she said. “I have also been given opportunities to try new things and explore other areas within the scope of my role.”
Cara’s hard work and contributions were rewarded last year when she was promoted to Vice President and became a part of AP’s Strategic Team.
But AP does not only have women working in the corporate office. Women are more and more often taking on project and management roles out in the field.
Melissa Montiel is Project/Field Engineer currently working on the John Marshall Magnet High School project in San Antonio, Texas. She was always interested architecture and engineering, but she did not want to be stuck in an office all day. Construction management was a great option for her.
“I like working in this industry because you get a strong sense of accomplishment when a project is complete,” she said. “You start with a pile of dirt and a year or so later you leave the jobsite with a whole new structure in place. And that structure becomes a memento for everyone who contributed to making it come to life.”
That same sense of accomplishment also led Melissa Bennett, Director of Business Development, into the industry.
“As a kid, you would always find me out in the back fields of West Virginia building wooden forts or treehouses,” she said. “I worked side by side with my dad as a young girl hammering nails and running chalk lines, as he built our home. To see a project from its beginning stage through completion gives you an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. I learned that at an early age and still have it today.”
AP supports women in construction through a variety of internal and external programs. One example is the internal Women in Construction group in their Mountain States region. This is a group of about 25 females that holds regular meetings and targets two external events and four internal workshops a year.
An example of an external event they participated in was “Girls Day In” at Bollman Technical Education Center in which girls explore career opportunities and participate in workshops sponsored by automotive, computer science, construction, diesel, engineering and welding programs. The region also supports local programs like Women in Construction Day by hosting jobsite tours for young women.
The construction industry offers a lot of opportunity for growth and professional development for women out in the field. AP supports those who want to learn and move up into bigger roles with greater responsibility.
Over the past five years, Madison Young has worked her way up from Field Engineer to Assistant Project Manager to Project Manager. She now 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.
“AP has always been supportive of my career,” Madison said. “The focus on annual goals, as well as continuous training, has helped me to learn and grow professionally. And I know I always have someone to turn to for help when I need it.”
Whether in the field or in the office, AP has an incredible team of women leaders and team members aligned for success. The company is taking time this week to show appreciation for women in construction and celebrate their accomplishments and many contributions to the company.