“My view of the construction industry was of one led by men on the job site but dependent on women to make sure everything ran smoothly behind the scenes,” she says.
“My grandfather and uncle were both general contractors, and my father was a construction attorney. I’ve watched the evolution of construction firms as they are passed (or ended) from generation to generation. Of course, that’s changing as more women join the trades and have professional careers that have them working in the field. But there are still many women keeping things running, and I love that my role allows those that are behind the scenes to shine as heroes within their construction organization – the ones that manage and build efficiencies for the people processes and data.”
Gardenhire develops partnerships with the top construction associations, including NAWIC, to support the important work construction associations do for their members and to better connect Arcoro with its customers.
“Our software helps support the women in the field, but it also helps the many women in the office who are predominantly responsible for HR processes and functions. Using software to do their jobs frees them up from the manual tasks and allows them to be more strategic, which helps advance professional knowledge and careers. It also promotes work/life balance. When you’re not working 12-hour days to get through payroll or onboarding or some other manual process, you have more time to recharge and focus.”
As a member of the NAWIC Tulsa Chapter, Gardenhire has had the opportunity to meet women in all areas of the construction industry. “NAWIC has been amazing for growing my network within the construction communities across the country,” she says. “I know I have learned so much about the industry through my interactions with my NAWIC sisters. I feel like I have a safety net of women professionals that I can turn to with questions and to bounce off ideas.”
In 2023, Arcoro was honored with a TrustRadius Tech Cares award for exceptional corporate responsibility and community impact for their work with NAWIC. “Even if we hadn’t been chosen for that award, our work with NAWIC is something I’m really proud of. Supporting an organization that is so focused on making a positive impact on women and the construction industry is a professional privilege.”
“It should just be normal for women to be on jobsites as tradeswomen and project leaders, and in the office as company leaders and owners,” she says. “It will be great over the coming years when more kids can say—my mom is a plumber or an electrician or a project supervisor. I think that’s really when the tipping point will happen, and we’ll see real movement into the industry from women excited for the opportunities construction can offer.”
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