Women’s Business

Women: A Dynamic Force in the Construction Sector

Statistics suggest that women comprise only 10.9% of the construction leadership ranks, with 1 out of every 100 employees being a woman working in this sector as a whole. This article explores the rise of women in the construction industry and the important roles they can play.  

The odds are in favor of women 

“We [Women] have the ability to multitask, process all the details and really execute. I’m biased, but I think female project managers are so good at that and so good at being able to balance all the personalities that might be in the room between the owner, architect, and superintendent from the field. There’s plenty of room at the table for more female project managers”. – Heather Tankersley, co-founder of Tankersley Construction

Women face a lot of challenges when entering occupations that are male dominant. This is because of the unconscious gender bias that exists in many places and needs to change. But change always starts with resistance. And that resistance can be the building block for this much-needed gender shift. 

A Randstad survey suggests that the role of women in construction management in the UK increased by 9% between 2018 and 2020. Reports from the Institute of Women’s Policy Research convey that the share of women working in the construction sector has reached its highest total in the past two decades. The positions occupied by women include architects, administrators, project managers, and more. 

Numerous examples can substantiate the above facts, but for now, let’s focus on a few. Geppert Bros Inc., a 95-year-old construction company, has had a woman president on board for the last quarter of a century. Mary Patricia Hilbert has overseen some of the most significant projects that the company has undertaken. Mrs. Rita Brown, President of Brown Construction Collective, is the founder and president of her own construction business. Mrs. Brown never misses an opportunity to encourage women to work in the construction sector. 

Whitney Hill, the head of business development for SnapADU, is another example of a founder who hopes for a great future for women in the construction segment. She had the following to say:

“You see more women in office roles and management roles. Women look at things differently. Since we often haven’t grown up in the industry, we can bring unique and fresh ideas. We also bring different skill sets to the industry.”  Whitney Hill, SnapADU

A McKinsey & Co study finds that gender-diverse companies are 25% more likely to achieve above-average profits. The same report succinctly states that construction companies with women in executive roles experienced above-average financial performance than companies with less diversity. Companies filled with 30% or more women executives in executive positions are 48% more likely to outperform their less diverse competitors. 

Initiatives that make a difference 

The US has plenty of initiatives for women willing to make their foray into the construction space. Recognized institutions such as the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and Women Construction Owners & Executives USA extend mentorship, marketing, and networking assistance to budding, aspiring women. The NAWIC also hosts an annual conference to discuss ways to empower women’s role in construction.

Construction companies in certain parts of the country have collaborated with the local community to offer courses to these women. New York-based Skanska USA, a subsidiary firm of Skanska AB, holds mentor groups for women in construction. Also, women owned blogs such as Construction Equality and Tradeswomen, seek to provide women with the knowledge and the opportunities to make it in the construction industry. 

Recruitment, a key factor 

Recruitment of women in construction companies is pivotal, but the process that gets us there must be a holistic one. Schools and educational institutions play a defining role in helping young girls and women understand the nature of the construction business and the exciting possibilities the industry provides. Companies must eliminate any gender bias in their systems to pave the way for a workforce that can surely make the construction industry dynamic. The current labor shortage the industry faces could be an opportunity for companies to recruit women. 

You Deserve to be Empowered

When you are a part of Legacy Materials, know that you are joining an establishment certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). This certification is only accorded to businesses that are at least 51% owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman. 

Organizations working with a WBE organization get to enjoy a range of benefits: which include tax incentives, reduced tax liabilities, loan advantages, and profit potential
We are excited to see more and more women with immense capability enter the construction industry with their unique, creative skills. If you want to be a part of this dynamic force, give us a call today.

WBENC-Certified Womens Business Enterprise (WBE) and What This Means for You

The Benefits Of Doing Business With A WBENC Certified Sand and Gravel Business


The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is a highly respected non-profit organization dedicated to women-owned businesses. Businesses earn WBENC certification when they are at least 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman. Many leading corporate brands accept their certification standard as well as state, city, and local government entities.

Legacy Materials is a proud WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise. While the certification can enable access to special tax incentives, reduced tax liabilities, too, are reduced for a woman-owned business executing federal or state grants or loans funded projects. The federal government also affords tax incentives to those who conduct business with minority and women-owned businesses. 

When suppliers work with Legacy Materials, they can gain preference for federal contracts because they are utilizing a WBENC-Certified business to supply materials.

Government Contracts & Tax Benefits – One of many reasons to partner with a WBENC-certified supplier

One of the biggest reasons to work with WBENC-certified businesses is tax breaks and incentives, but that is not all. The advantages have evolved over the years since 1979 when the Office of Women’s Business Ownership was established.

  • Supplier Diversity Equals Efficiency: A study conducted by a leading  NASDAQ listed strategic consulting company uncovered that virtually all (99%) of the suppliers either met or exceeded expectations. Having a diverse supplier portfolio also reduced the buying costs of the surveyed businesses.
  • Competitive Advantage: There are corporations that earmark a part of their purchasing requirements to be from certified businesses, businesses can combine with WBE certified entities to increase their chances of landing contracts. Teaming up with a WBENC Women’s Business Enterprise means
  • More Opportunities – governmental agencies that have set-aside a percentage of all contracts and have a mandate to prefer women owned businesses. 
  • More Benefits – in addition to governmental and corporate set-asides, there are also tax incentives when working with a WBE. 
  • Enhanced Brand Reputation – working with a WBE signals your commitment to diversity, which could lead to intangible benefits like better branding and subsequently better visibility to your clients.

Why Should You Work With Legacy Materials?

Working with Legacy Materials for your construction material is a sound business strategy. We are one of the only, if not the only certified WBE that delivers DOT certified sand, gravel, and other aggregates in Iowa, and our focus on sustainable practices has been unwavering. Legacy Materials is also a proud member of the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s TSB program – (Targeted Small Business Program). This qualifies us to bid for state-level contracts. Finally, we are led by an Iowan working tirelessly to help communities, entrepreneurs, and businesses create their land legacy. 

Putting The ‘W’ in WBE – The Businesswoman Who Leads Us – Misty Wittern Lee

Misty Wittern Lee is Legacy Materials’ founder, president, chief executive officer, and operations manager.

Misty started her career in the community-enabling Silver Fox Realty. As part of the Land Advisory Board, she played an instrumental role in several of the company’s business and community-related milestones. She is currently serving as the Active Chairperson for the Wittern Group Trust. 

Misty founded Legacy Materials in 2018. Since then, her operational responsibilities include a safe work environment and overseeing all of the sand and gravel excavation business functions. Through Legacy Materials, Misty creates and maintains a strong customer and community focus, something exemplified by her stewardship of the beautiful land that surrounds us Iowans through:

  • Developing and designing infrastructure
  • Leading community-changing projects
  • Farming
  • Crop/livestock production
  • Real estate property management
  • Maintenance and conservation of a hunting reserve
  • Mining

Legacy Materials is proud and blessed to be a Women-owned business, as well as a Targeted Small Business Program. For more information about Legacy Materials and your next project, give us a call at (515) 432-7333.

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