Women in Concrete meet and mingle

More than 300 women met at the World of Concrete at the second annual Women in Concrete Forum, increasing the attendance by 100 more than last year's event.

Presented by the editors of Concrete Construction and The Concrete Producer magazines, and sponsored by Sakrete, the event brought attendees together to network over lunch and discuss issues affecting women in the industry. Guest speaker Dr. Ann Phillips talked about learning and experimenting with new ways of communicating and expanding skills to improve relationships in the workplace.

“People don't leave jobs—they leave relationships,” said Dr. Ann Phillips, a veteran speaker on communications, team building, and stress management. She went on to say “to be a strong, effective communicator, you have to know yourself, know your fellow team members, and have an understanding of the work/task involved.”

Traditionally a male-dominated industry, the concrete business has seen an increasing number of women join the ranks, bringing with them new management methods and communication skills. Attendees had the opportunity to interact with their peers and take a hard-eyed look at how to succeed in the workplace. Throughout the session, attendees had the chance to swap stories, chat about their jobs, and exchange ideas on commonly occurring challenges.

“This kind of event is what the industry needs,” said Kitty Hoyle, owner of Wellington Hamrick Inc., Boiling Springs, N.C. “This is the kind of validation that the women need. I'd even like to see more men here to see the kind of contributions that women make to this industry.”

Selling out before the show even opened, women from all aspects of the concrete construction industry—contractors, producers, engineers, owners, and everything in between-were lined up to get in well before the event doors opened.