Happy Women in Construction Week to our partners and fellow Belconians!

Celebrating Women in the Construction Industry

women in the construction industry

The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) celebrates its annual Women in Construction Week™, a time to promote and amplify the vital role of women in the industry. Belco Forest Products is committed to building upon generational progress in this regard, having employed and partnered with women in construction at the local and regional level for decades.

Statistics: Trajectory of Women in the Construction Industry

While the overall representation of women in the construction industry has increased only slightly to 10.8% of the total workforce, with nearly 1.3 million women employed in the industry, their impact is increasingly far-reaching. Although construction has long been perceived as a male-centric industry, women are breaking through barriers and building success. From C suite roles to on site labor, women bring unique qualities to the table adding value at every turn.

History of Women in the General Workforce

The history of women’s involvement in construction dates back centuries, with notable pioneers achieving landmark feats. For example, Emily Roebling, played a project saving role overseeing the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in the late 1800s. She took over the project after her husband fell ill and was bedridden. The story is awe inspiring as the undertaking of the bridge building itself was so remarkable for that time. 

Moving forward a century or so, The Women’s Bureau was established in 1920 to promote women’s rights in the workforce. Mary Anderson, the first Director of the Women’s Bureau, stated in her autobiography, “I think our most important job was issuing the standards for the employment of women. It was the first time the federal government had taken a practical stand on conditions of employment for women, and although the standards were only recommendations and had no legal force, they were a very important statement of policy and were widely used in all parts of the country.” She was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1920 and served until 1944, making her the longest serving director in the bureau’s history.

Women In The Construction Industry Today

While women continue to make strides in construction, it is important to acknowledge that challenges do persist. Gender stereotypes, inclusive workplace culture, and gender pay gap, are among only a few of the hurdles that women often face. However, these challenges also present opportunities for positive change and the realization of the immense benefits that diversity brings to the construction workforce.

To celebrate the achievements of women in the industry, we want to highlight three leaders who are directly influencing our own world, and the construction industry as a whole!

Megan McCoy Jones, CEO of McCoy’s

Megan McCoy Jones, CEO of McCoys, a prominent building supply company, has been instrumental in driving innovation and growth for the company with a true legacy mindset. She grew up working in her family business during summers, and eventually joined the management team as assistant store manager for one of their local branches in 2007. After moving into a position at the company headquarters, Megan focused largely on building the next generation of leaders at McCoy’s. As President and CEO since 2020, Megan shares, “We continue to invest in upgrading stores, building stores in new markets, and growing our distribution, manufacturing, and delivery service so customers can count on McCoy’s for decades to come.”

Maggie Hardy Knox, CEO of 84 Lumber

Maggie Hardy Knox, CEO of 84 Lumber, took the helm at only 26 years old, and demonstrated immediate innovative success, refocusing the company to the professional market. This aggressive approach helped 84 Lumber generate over 1 billion dollars in sales after only one year of her guidance. Their growth has tumbled over that mark many times over, reaching a staggering 8.7 billion in 2022! Today 84 Lumber is “the leading privately held building materials supplier in the U.S. and is also a certified women’s business enterprise”.

Julie Bradley-Rowan, Senior Business Analyst of Belco Forest Products

Taking a look closer to home, we want to shine the spotlight on a true game changer within the Belco ranks, Julie Bradley-Rowan. Julie joined the Belco team in 2009, and has served in several roles from sales and marketing to inventory control throughout her time with us. Now, as Senior Business Analyst, Julie’s contributions to our company continue to be impactful and strategic. She is Belco’s resident “data geek” and spearheads important research projects impacting our superior forecasting model. Taking time to gather, dissect, and deliver data to leadership, Julie helps empower Belco to defy the ever common inventory bottleneck issues most dealers and builders experience from suppliers. 

Additionally, Julie’s positive energy and let’s go get it attitude make her an integral asset to the Belco culture. She is the ultimate team player, and her commitment to teamwork is second to none. We are honored she has made a home with us at Belco, and are proud to have her in the Belco family!

Join Belco in Celebrating Women in the Construction Industry

As Belco celebrates Women in Construction Week, we invite you to join us in recognizing the remarkable achievements of women in this field. Share your stories and experiences of inspiring women who are breaking barriers and building success in the construction industry. By embracing diverse perspectives and talents, the construction industry can foster innovation, creativity, and problem-solving skills that are essential for success in an ever-evolving landscape.

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