Celebrating the Women Apart of the Construction Industry

March 22, 2024

E.B. Horsman & Son highlights the remarkable women who have courageously shattered the concrete ceiling, leaving an indelible mark in the traditionally male-dominated construction industry.

Among these pioneers are the women of E.B. Horsman and its esteemed agency partner, Mac’s II Agencies, who are not just shaping the construction landscape but also serving as inspirational figures for generations to come.

Laura Dempsey

Can you share your experience working in the construction industry?
“I have been in the construction industry since 2002. There have been so many advancements in our industry over the last 22 years that make it much easier for women to enter the construction industry. Overall, my experience in the industry has been good because of some of the great men and women who have been in the industry for many years and supported me along the way. It takes a strong individual to work in this industry, someone not afraid to work through challenges and engage others on the team to get the job done.

How do you stay updated on industry trends and advancements?
There are several ways to stay updated on industry trends and advancements. I gain valuable insights from my weekly calls with customers, where we discuss their projects and the latest developments in the industry. Attending events organized by the BC Electrical Association is essential for staying informed about industry information and building connections with others in the field. Additionally, staying active on LinkedIn and keeping tabs on Electrical Line contribute to my ongoing awareness of the industry.

Are there specific challenges you think women face in male-dominated industries?
There are still instances out there where women are not recognized as equals in the industry and deal with harassment, but it is immensely better. We must continue to educate each other through conversations and open dialogue.

Are there any specific initiatives or programs that you’ve found helpful for career development in construction?
Participating in all BCEA educational and social events has proven highly beneficial for my professional growth. Additionally, I’ve enrolled in sales and management courses offered by BCIT and UBC Sauder to enhance and advance my career development.

Can you discuss a project that you are particularly proud of and describe your role in its success?
Thirteen years ago, when I aspired to embark on a road-based career, I would contact house accounts to explore opportunities for increased business over the phone. This involved identifying their specific needs, such as pricing reviews and assigning a regular point of contact for their inquiries. Remarkably, I still maintain contact with some of these customers to this day, and one of them has become my number one customer.

What advice would you give to women considering a career in the construction industry?
If this is something that interests you, reach out to other women in the industry! It is an exciting and rewarding career and unlike 25+ years ago we do have a place in the industry! We are capable of being successful individuals in the construction industry and I would say, GO FOR IT!!

Olivia Rock

In the dynamic world of construction, Olivia Rock stands out as a true trailblazer, showcasing a remarkable journey of dedication and growth within the electrical industry. With nearly 12 years of experience, Olivia has climbed the ranks at Mac’s II Agencies, Canada’s largest electrical agency, demonstrating resilience, expertise, and a passion for her work. Olivia’s journey began in various roles within the company, from receptionist to handling projects, inside sales, and quotes. For the past decade, she has thrived as a Distributor and Contractor Sales Representative. Beyond her impressive career trajectory, she has recently assumed the role of Chair of the BCEA Women’s Network, showcasing her commitment to fostering inclusivity and empowerment for women within the electrical industry.

Reflecting on her experience within the industry, Olivia shares, “My ongoing journey through the industry consistently surprises me in the best ways. From creating lasting connections, continuing to advance, and now embracing the role of a mentor — I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!” Acknowledging that she, like many others, stumbled into the industry, she expresses gratitude for the supportive environment. Olivia finds joy in the camaraderie of the electrical and construction community, emphasizing the importance of enjoying the company of colleagues given the substantial time spent together.

Addressing challenges faced by women in male-dominated industries, Olivia maintains a positive outlook. “It’s only a challenge if you make it one,” she asserts. Acknowledging that there may be higher expectations, Olivia emphasizes that hard work and expertise level the playing field. Drawing on her decade-long experience, she notes the positive shift in the industry’s landscape, “Starting out a little over a decade ago on the road, I would say the landscape has shifted and is continuing to become more diverse and inclusive. There are more women now, in a wider spread of roles compared to when I started — it’s huge!”

Her advice to women entering the construction industry echoes her own experience – be part of the team, embrace learning opportunities, and, most importantly, don’t let gender stereotypes define your path. “Learn from your bosses, your peers, your mentors — people want you to succeed.” she emphasizes, “Get involved! Actively participating in your industry earns respect. Attending events from the BCEA Women’s Network, like the annual Thrive Summit, is an excellent starting point.”

E.B. Horsman & Son gives thanks to all the extraordinary women making waves in the construction industry, breaking barriers with their remarkable contributions.

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