Women have been steadily breaking down barriers in various industries, and construction is no exception. They are increasingly making significant contributions to the construction industry, particularly in the areas of sustainability and social responsibility. Women in construction often advocate for sustainable construction practices, including the use of eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient designs, and waste reduction. They are in front of promoting diversity and inclusion, leading to a more inclusive work environment. Many women in construction also participate in projects that contribute to the greater good, such as affordable housing initiatives, community development, and infrastructure improvements. Some women in the field are actively involved in education and advocacy, spreading awareness about the importance of sustainable construction and social responsibility. Many women have also risen to leadership positions in construction companies and organizations, driving change and innovation; Audree Grubesic, Christi Powell, Nicole Viggiano, Angela Gardner, and our very own Rory Rubin are just a few of the remarkable women who have made their mark in the male-dominated world of construction.
Audree Grubesic: The owner of Modular Sure Site, an Off-Site Construction Management Service company, Audree has first-hand experience of project management onsite using offsite solutions. Over the past 25+ years, she has excelled in marketing, sales, new business development, and home building. This experience has led her to create a niche in the modular construction industry. Her specialty is modular residential and commercial consulting, along with management services including full team development. Audree’s large offsite network has evolved by collaborating with experts in the industry through the media platform, OffsiteDirt.com with the goal of bringing together experts to discuss projects, technology, education, events and trends.
Christi Powell: The WBE Market Manager Lead at 84 Lumber, she is a true change-maker in the construction industry. She is a fierce advocate for women and minorities and has dedicated her career to breaking down barriers and promoting diversity and inclusion in the field. Christi is passionate about empowering others and building up her community, both through her work as a contractor and through her volunteer efforts. She is a strong believer in the power of confidence and self-belief and is constantly encouraging others to reach for their dreams and pursue their goals. She and Angela Gardner started a podcast called Women Talk Construction which helps women grow in the construction field. Christi’s tireless efforts have made a real difference in the construction industry and beyond, and she is an inspiration to all those who know her.
Angela Gardner: The director of business development and marketing for Hill Electric. Angela has worked in the construction industry for over 28+ years: 20 in residential and 8+ industrial/commercial. She has experience in startups, family businesses, entrepreneurship, startup networking groups, etc. A large part of her success has come through building relationships and sharing her own journey. She loves supporting women through their non-traditional journeys. She and Christi Powell started a podcast called Women Talk Construction which helps women grow in the construction field. Gardner was named 2020 South Carolina Women in Business recipient for Construction Marketing – Greenville/Columbia/Charleston SC business magazine.
Rory Rubin: A modular shipping container home builder, our very own Rory Rubin founded S.I. Container Builds, a Chicago area company that specializes in sustainable dwellings for developers, community builders, and work force housing using one-way shipping containers. SICBS’s units are designed for various purposes and markets, such as villages, short-term rentals, affordable housing, wellness pods, and commercial spaces. By collaborating with other business owners, developers, local resources, and organizations such as the Boris L. Henson Foundation, we create innovative and eco-friendly housing solutions. We provide coaching and leadership development services to our clients and partners, drawing on our skills in workshop facilitation, mentoring, and employee training. Rory is committed to giving back to the community and supporting charitable causes related to housing and social justice.
These remarkable women exemplify how diversity strengthens the construction sector. They've proven that gender should never limit one's potential in any profession. Their stories serve as an inspiration for aspiring women in construction and a reminder of the importance of change.
Photo credits: Mikael Blomkvist, Habitat, S.I. Container Builds, Women Talk Construction