I want to congratulate our team at AWCI for putting on a dynamic event—Build23: AWCI’s Convention + Expo in Las Vegas. Along with a wealth of information gleaned from the many education seminars, the event showcased a multitude of new products that many of us will be putting into our hands at some point. If you missed the convention, I hope you can find the time to catch next year’s convention, March 23-27 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., as it is a great opportunity to meet old friends, find new ones from across the country and learn more about our industry today and where it is headed.
A highlight of this event is finding out who won AWCI’s awards. This year we honored Brent Allen with our Pinnacle award, and many companies were recognized for excellence in construction quality and safety. All the wins were well-deserved, and I am sure you will agree with me when you read about them in the pages of this magazine. Congratulations to all!
On another topic, I could not be prouder of the women in the wall and ceiling industry who are pushing our industry to be better. We have women in almost every key position, ranging from business owners and chief executive officers to project managers and association board members. However, women are still underrepresented in our industry. This is an opportunity for all of us to recruit talent that can help our industry grow in ways we never imagined.
To attract more women to the field we need to make sure we offer equal pay, benefits and opportunities. Mentorship programs, leadership training and opportunities for them to take on challenging assignments are critical to retention. Recognizing their contributions/achievements and fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration is paramount. We also need to make sure we offer them flexible work arrangements when necessary to manage a realistic work-life balance.
As employees, women can offer us a diverse perspective. They can be effective communicators, adaptable, resilient, patient, and they often come with a strong work ethic. By embracing and supporting women in the wall and ceiling industry we can leverage their strengths to build stronger teams, better companies, and create a more positive and productive industry.
You can learn more about nine of AWCI’s female construction executives by viewing “A Different Path: Women in Construction” on AWCI’s YouTube channel. This three-part series features members who share their thoughts on what it is like being female in a male-dominated industry, and how their roles—and the industry—have changed since they began their careers in construction.
In addition to being 2022–2023 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Travis Vap is CEO of South Valley Drywall, Inc. in Littleton, Colo.