About

From the largest corporations, to small businesses and individuals, Women Builders Council (WBC) is inspiring New Yorkers to become change agents for the achievement of equality for all. Building upon the United Nation’s ground breaking “HeForShe” campaign, WBC is partnering with key construction industry decision makers to affirm their commitment to gender equality, as well as increasing diversity and the role of women in the construction industry.

WeforShe is uniting men and women throughout the construction industry to create a more inclusive workplace for women. From the largest corporations to small businesses and individuals - WBC is uniting New Yorkers to become change agents for the achievement of equality for all.

Although 2017 has started with many changes, one major issue has remained the same: gender inequality. The inequality is seen in several areas: wage disparity, sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, family status discrimination, likelihood of experiencing abuse and more. The issue of inequality is not just a local issue: it is also an international issue. New York State has taken the lead to pass legislation and propose new solutions that will increase gender equality. To further drill down into the construction industry, WBC will launch this year a new initiative, WeforShe. Built on the platform of the United Nation’s internationally-adopted program “HeForShe” WBC proposes to bring new awareness and solutions to the corporate construction community to advocate on behalf of women in the corporate sector.

Gender Equality

In the Construction Industry and Beyond
Inequality is seen in several areas: wage disparity, sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, family status discrimination, likelihood of experiencing abuse and more. The issue of inequality is not just a local issue it is an international issue. New York State has taken the lead to pass legislation and propose new solutions that will increase gender equality. We applaud those efforts, but there is more to be done. WeforShe proposes to bring new awareness and solutions to the corporate construction community to advocate on behalf of women in the corporate sector. The inaugural WeforShe award recipients are presented in the pages that follow.

WeforShe will take the form of several initiatives:

A review of internal corporate practices that support equality for women.
• A corporate pledge to support equality for women at every stage of their • professional development.
• A new ‘Diversity Tool Box’ to provide practical solutions for advancing diversity inclusion in corporations.
• A ‘WeforShe’ Scorecard to identify the organizations (companies, government agencies, non-profits) that best exemplify efforts to improve diversity inclusion for women in the corporations.
Our undertaking this year is ambitious. New York State has already provided a sound foundation for building diversity inclusion, and we invite you to join the “WeforShe” conversation and bring the tenets and best practices of equal opportunity to the communities that you serve.

The Case for WeforShe:It’s all in the Numbers!

Equal Pay for Equal Work.

Women continue to earn less than men at every stage in their career, and they advance more slowly. Despite having the 11th lowest wage gap in the country, women in New York make a median salary that is 20.9% less than men, according to a recent study. Within the construction industry, the numbers are slightly better, but women are still making an average of 16.3% less than their male counterparts.

Gender Harassment.

In addition to concerns about equal pay, women also face sexual harassment drastically more often than men do. In fact, well over half of all sexual harassment cases filed with the New York State Division of Human Rights and with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission were filed by women. Even more troubling, a 2011 study published by the American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings found that women in the construction industry between the ages of 25 and 34 were most likely to experience sexual harassment on the job than in any other industry.

Gender Discrimination.

New York has already been more proactive than many other states. Since the first legislative acts of 2015 onward, the state has passed legislation to enhance women’s rights and to protect them from abuse and discrimination. In 2015, both Bill S.4, which helps working mothers by preventing employers from not promoting people with families or discriminating against hiring them, and Bill S.8, which requires employers to provide adequate resources for pregnancy-related medical needs, were signed into law.

UN Women Initiative

UN Women’s HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality where a global audience can engage and become change agents. This requires an innovative, inclusive approach that mobilizes people of every gender identity as advocates, and acknowledges the ways that we all benefit from this equality. Industry leaders have an enormous opportunity through their actions, policies, and attitudes to truly shape work culture and define norms. They have the ability to not only raise awareness and advocate but to create structural and systematic changes to advance gender equality. HeForShe invites all of us to build on the work of the women’s movement as equal partners, crafting and implementing a shared vision of gender equality that will benefit of all of humanity.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

2017 Honorees

In addition to what is being brought into legislation by our elected officials, we must also be diligent within our own workplaces to create a new culture that pushes for a corporate standard for equality. In 2017, WBC has honored key decision makers in the construction industry to affirm their commitment to gender equality, as well as increasing the role of women in the construction industry. By honoring advocates, mentors and trailblazers who develop supporting practices that remove discrimination from women as well as other marginalized groups – WBC is uniting New Yorkers to become change agendas for the achievement of equality for all.

Chris Asaro

President, Holt Construction Corporation



Jay Badame

President & Chief Operating Officer, AECOM Tishman



Kevin M. Barrett

Executive Vice President, Hunter Roberts Construction Group, LLC.



Pat A. Di Filippo

Executive Vice President, Turner Construction Company



David T. Gockel, PE, PP, LEED, AP

President/CEO, Langan



Louis C. Grassi, CPA, CFE

Chief Executive Officer, Grassi & Co.



David Greenberg

Executive Vice President, Columbia University Facilities and Operations



William J. Gilbane, Jr.

Vice chairman , Gilbane Building Company



Richard Kennedy

President & CEO, Skanska USA Building



Milo E. Riverso, Ph.D., P.E., CCM

President & Chief Executive Officer, STV Group, Inc.



Frank Schettino

Managing Partner, Anchin, Block & Anchin



2017 PANEL

 

REMARKS

MODERATOR

PANELISTS

Deborah Bradley

President, Women Builders Council



Renee Sacks, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Women Builders Council



Magalie Austin, Esq.

Chief Diversity and Industry Relations Officer, Department of Design and Construction



Judith Bergtraum

Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management, The City University of New York



Elizabeth Fine, Esq.

Executive Vice President, Legal & General Counsel, Empire State Development



Alexandria Perotti

Project Executive, Holt Construction



Terry Pissi, CPA

Partner, Anchin, Block & Anchin



Tanya Pope

Assistant Vice President, University Supplier Diversity & Construction Business Initiatives, Columbia University



Ana Rua

Director of Outreach, Innovation & Broadband, Empire State Development



Elizabeth Velez

President, Velez Organization



Taking the Lead

Industry leaders from 11 organizations have demonstrated their commitment to creating change in the construction industry. Their work has opened doors wider to change that will set a new paradigm for building careers and professional growth in the construction industry. These WeforShe leaders represent the new generation leadership, along with their support teams, that will change the face of the construction industry.

AECOM Tishman

AECOM Tishman has delivered many of the most globally recognized, iconic buildings, defining the skylines of the world’s most notable and recognized cities.

Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP

Founded in 1923 in New York City, Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP (Anchin) is the largest single-office public accounting firm in North America and is recognized as a top-tier firm nationwide in terms of its quality, management, scope of services and work environment.

Columbia University

Columbia University Facilities is dedicated to supporting the core educational and research missions of Columbia University by maintaining a safe, beautiful and functional campus environment.

Gilbane Building Company

Gilbane Building Company is a privately held, family-owned, global integrated construction and facility management services firm. Founded in 1873, Gilbane has active participation from the family’s 4th, 5th and 6th generations. Concentrating in select markets throughout North America, as well as internationally, Gilbane operates through more than 50 offices worldwide, as an industry leader in construction and real estate development.

Grassi & Co

Found in 1980, Grassi & Co. is among the Top 100 largest firms in the United States. Grassi & Co. is a full-service tax, accounting, and business advisory firm that provides traditional accounting, auditing and tax services. Grassi & Co. is an independent firm associated with Moore Stephens North America, the North American arm of Moore Stephens International Limited.

Holt Construction

Holt Construction Corporation is a full-service construction firm offering General Contracting, Construction Management and Design-build services nationwide. The firm has been in business since 1919.

Hunter Roberts

Founded in 2005, Hunter Roberts provides general contracting and construction management services to clients in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Hunter Roberts’ personal approach to each project emphasizes communication, collaboration, and caring while exceeding client expectations.

Langan

Founded as a geotechnical specialty firm in 1970, Langan quickly became involved in many large, complex projects located throughout the eastern part of the United States. As the firm’s growth continues, it has leveraged its highly technical base to expand into the civil engineering and environmental disciplines.

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the country with expertise in construction, civil infrastructure, public-private partnerships and commercial development initiatives across the U.S.

STV

STV is a leading, award-winning professional firm offering engineering, architectural, planning, environmental and construction management services. They provide planning, environmental, design, program and construction management, and specialty services for the transportation, design-build, institutional and commercial building, advanced technology, industrial and defense markets.

Turner

Turner is a North America-based, international construction services company and is a leading builder in diverse market segments. The company has earned recognition for undertaking large, complex projects, fostering innovation, embracing emerging technologies, and making a difference for their clients, employees and community.

Contact

For more information conatct WBC WeForShe atinfo@wbcweforshe.com

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