Hensel Phelps had the pleasure of being the sponsor for the Women in Green Luncheon at the 2019 GreenerBuilder conference. Our company’s strong commitment to diversity and equality resonates with the event purpose and it was an easy choice for us.
The sold-out event was attended by a diverse group of women from architecture, engineering, contracting and consulting companies. We had women joining us from the East Coast to Hawaii, which added richness to a discussion sensitive to regional culture and outlook.
The discussion panel featured five women from different regional and professional backgrounds, at different stages of life, who were able to provide an enlightening and invigorating dialogue for all attendees. When Elaine Aye talked about her long journey, accepting the ability to be vulnerable to show courage, many attendees were able to relate to her challenges and triumphs. For me, the biggest message was learning to "take care of me."
Women in Green at GreenerBuilder 2019.
Equally strong were the messages of courage from the other panelists. For Robyn Vettraino, courage is "sharing personal life stories." For Katie Ross, it is being OK with saying "I don’t know." For Maya Henderson, it’s allowing herself "to fail and be a real person," and for Melanie Islam, it is all about "being authentic."
The event was carefully balanced with participation from the audience. Each table was assigned a leader, and questions about defining courage and questioning the status quo were discussed in smaller groups. Some tables came up with very strong and impressive punchlines, such as:
- If you are going to fail, fail big.
- One size does not fit all.
- Change and evolution is inevitable.
- Stop and take care of yourself.
- It's OK to fake it until you make it.
The camaraderie of women folk in the room was infectious, and everyone was grateful for a platform where we could talk and find support in one another.
General contracting is traditionally seen as a masculine occupation, but companies like Hensel Phelps are setting new paradigms. More than 15% of our nationwide workforce comprises women, a high percentage of which are employed in upper and middle management. The Women in Green luncheon is an event celebrating this diversity and quality in the architecture, engineering and construction industry.
Here’s to an even bigger Women in Green event at GreenerBuilder 2020!