Empowering Women in Construction

Building a Brighter Future

As we embrace the month of March, we not only celebrate the advent of spring but also honor the remarkable contributions of women throughout history. March is not just any month; it’s Women’s History Month, a time to recognize the pivotal roles women have played in shaping our world. And what better way to celebrate than by spotlighting the remarkable women who are breaking barriers and making waves in the construction industry?

Women In Construction Week™

From March 3-9, we celebrate Women in Construction Week™ (WIC Week™). It’s a time to celebrate and promote the invaluable and growing role of women in construction. During this week, we pay homage to the women who defy stereotypes, overcome challenges and excel in what has traditionally been a male-dominated field. This year, WIC Week celebrates, ‘Keys to the Future’, and the strength and knowledge of women and the vital role they play in shaping the future of the construction industry.

HBI is helping women break barriers in construction! Home Builders Institute is dedicated to empowering individuals through free education, training and placement in promising careers in building and construction. HBI recognizes the importance of diversity in the construction industry and is committed to fostering an environment where everyone, regardless of gender, has equal opportunities for success.

In 2023, 17% of HBI’s students were female – far above the industry average – and promotes gender diversity, inclusivity and women empowerment within the construction workforce. HBI is dedicated to breaking down barriers and opening doors for women in construction.

As of October 2022, approximately 14% of construction workers in the United States were female, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While this number has been steadily increasing over the years, there is still much work to be done in bridging the gender gap in the construction industry. HBI is accepting the challenge and is actively working towards creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Why Women Choose a Career In Construction

So, why is it essential to recruit more women to the building and construction industry? There are many benefits for women who choose a career in construction. 

  • First, increasing gender diversity fosters innovation and creativity, as diverse perspectives lead to better problem-solving and decision-making. 
  • Second, there is a skilled labor shortage currently plaguing the construction industry. By tapping into a broader talent pool, we can ensure a steady supply of skilled workers to meet the industry’s growing demands.
  • Third, empowering women in construction has far-reaching socio-economic implications. By providing women with opportunities for meaningful employment and career advancement, we not only enhance their financial security but also contribute to the overall economic prosperity of our communities.

5 Groundbreaking Women In Construction

 If you can see it, you can be it – and that includes becoming a woman builder! Women have a small but mighty history of innovation and leadership in the American construction industry!

  1. Lillian Gilbreth was an early working mother of 10 who in the early 1900s combined the fields of psychology and industrial and mechanical engineering to pioneer work in time and motion studies. She even found time to write books about her life and career – and her story was made into a movie, Cheaper By The Dozen.
  2. Emily Warren Roebling was an engineer who secretly took over the building of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge in 1892 after her husband became ill.
  3. Linda Alvarado is a Mexican-American entrepreneur and the founder of Alvarado Construction, Inc. She is the first Hispanic woman to own a major league baseball franchise and is recognized for her significant contributions to the construction industry. Alvarado is a passionate advocate for women and minorities in construction, dedicating herself to breaking barriers and building opportunities for underrepresented groups in the field.
  4. In 1979, Elizabeth Diller co-founded the architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro. She is celebrated for her innovative designs of cultural spaces, which have become iconic landmarks globally. Among her notable projects are the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, various buildings at Brown University and Stanford University, significant contributions to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (MoMA), and transformative renovations to Lincoln Center. In 2018, Elizabeth Diller earned a spot on Time magazine’s prestigious list of 100 most influential people for the second time, making her the only architect to achieve this distinction.
  5. Cheryl McKissack Daniel, President and CEO, McKissack & McKissack, runs the oldest Black-owned, woman-run construction company in the United States. Her family’s business was started in 1905 by her great-great grandfather. 

As we celebrate Women in Construction Week™ and Women’s History Month, let’s all commit to creating a more inclusive and equitable construction industry. Together, we can build a future where everyone, regardless of gender, has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.

Join us in honoring the women who are reshaping the landscape of construction and paving the way for future generations of builders, architects and engineers. Together, we can build a brighter, more inclusive future for all.For more information on Women in Construction Week™, visit National Association of Women in Construction.

Are You A Woman Ready to Build A Career In Construction?

Are you a young woman interested in a career in construction and building? HBI Academies offers free training, industry-recognized certifications and job placement assistance to kickstart your journey in this in-demand field. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to build a piping hot future with us! Contact HBI today to learn more and take the first step towards a rewarding career in construction. Let’s build together!

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Contacts Us

Name
Address
MARIO GONZALEZ
Vice President of Workforce Training & Employment
Mario joined HBI as a Regional Career Development Coordinator of HBI’s Military Services in 2019 and was promoted to Associate Vice President of WTE Community & Corrections Programs in 2022.
 
Now serving as Vice president of WTE (2024), he oversees the daily operations of HBI’s WTE Community & Corrections, Military Services, & Academies programs, working with partners to advance HBI’s expansion and enhance job placement opportunities for graduates. Mario serves as the liaison between HBI and external stakeholders to include military installations. He ensures successful outcomes for HBI graduates from transitioning service members & veterans to justice involved adults & youths. Internally, he provides strategic operational perspective to HBI’s senior leadership team.
 
Prior to joining HBI, Mario served for 21 years in the U.S. Army across multiple locations globally & nationally and has an MBA from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN.
 
Mario resides in Tennessee with his wife and children and spends time in Texas where his mother, adult children, and grandchildren reside. He enjoys the outdoors and serving in his community. 
JOSEPH F. LANDERS
Executive Officer of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Massachusetts

Joseph F. Landers, 71, is the Executive Officer of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Massachusetts having assumed that role in 2018 with a mandate from the Board of Directors to harmonize the five MA local associations, increase communications from the state to the membership, increase the public profile of the association, create a path to financial stability and elevate the states lobbying efforts. Prior to taking on the challenging state association role, Joe was Chief Executive Officer and founder of Customized Structures Inc., a custom manufacturer of single-family, multi-family and commercial modular and panelized structures which began operations in 1984. Joe has been involved in the building industry, both site-built and factory-built, since 1973 and has worked in all phases of construction from development through design and production including on site management and sales. Customized Structures produced on average 330 single family homes per year, had an employee base as high as 180 and was known as the innovator in the production and design of modular components.

 

After the sale of Customized Structures Inc. to a private equity firm in 2003 Joe remained on the Board of Directors of the Company and functioned as a consultant to the CEO. He further took on the role of helping failing building systems companies return to profitability and successfully oversaw the sale of those companies. Mr. Landers has lectured frequently on the benefits and utilization of systems-built construction to building professionals around the country and has utilized his substantial professional and industry background to provide consultation services to both national and foreign companies interested in the processes and pitfalls of building and developing utilizing building systems components.

Joe attended Northeastern University and St. Anselm’s College graduating with a B.S. in 1972. 

Joe has been a member of the National Association of Home Builders since 1974. He is past president of two local Home Builders Associations and has served two terms as President of the  State of NH Home Builders Association. Joe is also a past president of the Modular Building  Systems Council of the NAHB, has been Chairman of the National Building Systems Council (BSC)  and has served five terms as a Trustee of the BSC during which time he created the BSC logo and  wrote the brochure “Most Frequently Asked Questions about Modular Homes”. 

In 1989, Joe received the National Pacesetter Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership  and contribution to the housing industry and in 1991 was awarded the title of Builder of the Year  by the Home Builders Association of N.H. In 1992 he was appointed by the Governor to the NH  Board of Fire Control within the Department of Safety and since then was reappointed three times.  He has served as a member on the State of New Hampshire Building Code Review Board and was  appointed by the Governor of NH to the Shore Land Protection Commission. Joe was selected to  receive the 2000 S. A. Walters Chairman’s Award, the premier award in the U.S. Systems Built  Housing Industry and was installed to the New Hampshire Housing Hall of Fame for his significant  and lasting contributions to the housing industry in the State of New Hampshire.  

Joe is a Senior Life Director of the National Association of Home Builders; he is served six terms on the NAHB Budget & Finance Committee serving as Vice Chair for four of those years, he has served  as Chairman of the Resolutions Committee, the International Housing Committee and the Building  Products Issues Committee of NAHB serving on the NAHB Executive Committee multiple times. 

In 2001 Joe was elected an Area Vice President of the National Association of Home Builders  representing builders through out the northeast. 

Joe is active in his community having served as finance chairmen of his church, is a member of the  International Order of Odd Fellows, and has served on multiple boards and committees on a  volunteer basis.  

Joe and his wife, Denise, reside in Plymouth, MA, they have two children, Jessica and Brad and two  grandchildren, Lily and Jack ages 13 and 11.

Seth Appleton
President of U.S. Mortgage Insurers

The Honorable Seth Appleton is President of U.S. Mortgage Insurers. In this role, he leads USMI’s efforts to enable sustainable access to affordable mortgage credit for borrowers while protecting taxpayers. Seth previously served as President of MISMO, the real estate finance industry’s standards organization. Prior to that, Seth served as the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),
a position for which he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate. In addition to his service as Assistant Secretary, Seth concurrently served as the Principal Executive Vice President of Ginnie Mae, a government corporation guaranteeing the timely payment of
principal and interest on more than $2 trillion in mortgage-backed securities.


Before joining HUD, Seth worked on Capitol Hill, including serving as Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer for more than eight years. A native of Missouri, Seth is a graduate of Stanford University and is a co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Council.

Zach Harris Story Card - HBI Build Strong Academy New Orleans Graduate