The number of women-owned construction companies increased by nearly 70% from 2015 to 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. More than 70% of construction workers are men, but that’s beginning to change.
Woman with that successful business has overcome plenty of challenges along the way — something many male entrepreneurs don’t have experience. In the same survey, American Express found that men were twice as likely as women to invest in an idea. By contrast, 71% of men and 68% of women identified investor support as a top challenge in building a startup.
Sandy Riviere is the president of Riviere Associates. At Riviere Associates, Amor leads the company’s engineering and construction services. He has managed projects for the Nevada Gaming Commission, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Palazzo Resort and Casino, Stratosphere Casino and Resort, City National Bank, Hilton, Westin, Las Vegas Sands, Caesars Palace, MGM Grand, Wynn Resorts and more. “He has grown our business from the ground up to a nationally-recognized firm with over 40 full-time employees,” said Sandy Riviere, president of Riviere Associates. “With the construction industry booming, women are certainly taking on more opportunities,” said Riviere.
Founder Robin Thorne started the company after she saw many architects didn’t feel comfortable using female construction contractors. CTI Environmental, founded by Robin Thorne in 2004, is a general contracting and environmental engineering firm based in Portland, Ore. Thorne oversees six core offices in Portland, Eugene, Spokane, Spokane Valley, Spokane International Airport and Petaluma. The company works on a wide variety of design-build, EPC and SCS (Site Contruction and Support) projects throughout the United States, and has been involved in the design and construction of numerous U.S. and international airports. The NAWIC noted that the firm has completed more than $1 billion in construction projects.
As a small business owner, Jean Bjork has experienced the same ups and downs as a corporate executive but with a little less vacation. “When I worked for a company, my hours were regularly long and my pay and benefits were mediocre,” says Bjork. “Now that I own my own business, I get to set my own schedule, and the office is located a block from my home, which makes things much more comfortable and stress-free. Now, more than ever, it is essential for women to be self-sufficient and take ownership of their own destiny.”
A. Marie Design Build
Founded in 2006 by Angela Cacace, A. Marie Design Build (AMDB) is a construction consulting and project management firm. Since then, AMDB has designed and built several successful projects, including the Water Treatment Plant for the City of Staunton, Virginia.
AMDB specializes in geotechnical, environmental and structural engineering, water, wastewater and transportation systems engineering and preconstruction oversight and provides project delivery services.
With a philosophy to provide environmentally friendly and cost-effective solutions, AMDB has also completed a number of environmentally friendly renovations, including the renovation of a historic building in Staunton.
Marker Construction Group
Marker Construction Group, a husband-and-wife partnership that specializes in the construction of storage and secure enclosures, is led by Peggy Hogan Marker, who was the first woman president of NAWIC. The company was founded in 2004 by her husband, John, who is a licensed general contractor. John began his career at a young age, working for his father before eventually going into construction. He joined Marker Construction when the business was still under the name Nelson Company.
“Nelson Company, which was owned by my grandfather and uncle, had just become a limited liability company, and at the time my brother and I were helping my dad with some of the business operations,” Peggy Hogan Marker explains.
The Street Group
Rachel Street had a long career in construction and engineering before launching her own firm. A licensed professional engineer, she founded The Street Group in 2003. A year later, Street won a contract with the City of Baton Rouge and served as lead engineer and owner/operator for the Broadmoor Water Park, which was the largest and most expensive water park in the country at the time. A woman-owned firm, The Street Group offers architectural services, including landscape, architecture, interior design and construction management; civil engineering and bridge design; and stormwater management and permitting. The firm has offices in San Antonio, Houston and Baton Rouge.