Historically, women have lacked the resources and representation available to men in the concrete industries, but one new organization is hoping to change that.
The Women's Association of Concrete Professionals is one of the newest nonprofits on the block. Sarah Bryan, the founder of the group, said the organization was born out of her own experiences in the industry.
"There was always such a huge disparity in the resources that were available for the men versus the women," Bryan said. "It's tough enough being a woman in this industry."
Bryan, who also serves as the EVP of Slurry Monster, said there are some damaging stereotypes that she has experienced in the industry.
"To be honest with you, I think there's this mantra that women can't perform at the level that men can in this industry," Bryan said. "I see these women that are knee-deep in mud."
Membership benefits for women in the concrete industry
As a woman in the industry, Bryan said it was difficult to know where to go for training or mentorships.
Membership benefits of the Women's Association of Concrete Professionals will include access to industry mentorships, sponsorships, live training and employment opportunities.
"We will take it upon ourselves to help try to place women in the industry," Bryan said, adding that the nonprofit plans to work with a plethora of companies to provide career advancement opportunities to members.
According to the organization's website, the Women's Association of Concrete Professionals "is open to women in concrete including: polished, decorative, flatwork, placement, ready-mix, warehouse, distribution, owners, laborers, finishers, foundations, formwork, paving, quality control, saw cutting and coring, and any other position that directly works within a concrete or concrete construction arena."
Bryan said the group is a 501(c)(6), a nonprofit corporation that is designated to promote members' interests without the goal of making a profit.
Bryan said the organization will address the fact that women are not a strongly represented force in the industry and provide them a go-to place for training and advancement opportunities.
Get involved with the Women's Association of Concrete Professionals
This September, the organization has its kickoff event planned at the Decorative Concrete Institute in Temple, Georgia. If attendees sign up by July 15, they will pay a reduced rate versus attendees who register after the 15th.
The event will feature a meet and greet, along with addresses from high-profile speakers like Karen Keys, the owner and president of The Art of Concrete.
Membership in the Women's Association of Concrete Professionals is available in three tiers: student, active and corporate.
The group also expects to have a booth at the 2023 World of Concrete show, held annually in Las Vegas, which Bryan called "a dream come true" for the organization.
More can be learned about the Women's Association of Concrete Professionals' membership options by visiting this page. Registration for the organization's kickoff event planned for Sept. 23 can be found here.
Click here to read more about our past coverage of women in the concrete industry.