Our Stories

Have You Heard About “Women in Construction Week”?

We have, and it’s right in line with our commitment to skilling up women to take on well-paying jobs in growth industries. LISC L.A. program assistant Samantha Salmon weighs in on how recognizing women in the building fields is a means for paving the path for our sisters, and how LISC invests in creating opportunities for girls and women to succeed in non-traditional fields.

For decades, building-related industries like construction, engineering, demolition and even architecture have been mostly reserved for men. But now, more and more women are breaking barriers and pursuing successful careers in these male-dominated fields. This is evident through celebrations like Women in Construction Week, held each year during the first week of March, and through programs like our partner DemoChicks.

Women form the backbone of society, so empowering women means empowering everyone. This can be done by upending stereotypes and providing new opportunities. Sponsored by the National Association of Women in Construction, the celebration highlights the important role that women play in the industry and also helps promote awareness of opportunities for women in construction.

Robin Thorne, center, with young women who have received DemoChicks scholarships. 
Robin Thorne, center, with young women who have received DemoChicks scholarships. 

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics labor statistics, the proportion of women in the construction industry currently stands at only 10.3 percent. Another report predicts that the employment of construction laborers and helpers is projected to grow by 11 percent from 2018 to 2028. As the industry continues to face a massive shortage of talent, there’s a call for more women to join this lucrative industry.

And that’s why LISC LA co-sponsored the “Celebrating Epic Women” event held in Long Beach, an effort to show how women can venture into and move forward in the construction, engineering, demolition, and architectural industries.

The gathering recognized women who were leaders in their fields, and honored Robin Thorne, a LISC partner, and her company CTI Environmental, a construction management and regulatory compliance firm celebrating 10 years in business. Thorne is also the founder of DemoChicks, a nonprofit focused on helping girls and women get involved in the building industries.

Empowering women means empowering everyone.

DemoChicks offers services such as mentoring, job training, and personal internships whereby participants are given a chance to experience a career without committing before entering college or an apprenticeship program. Although many women still tend to shy away from a non-traditional career path, Thorne believes that if they are exposed to opportunities, they may develop an interest and desire to acquire the skills and knowledge those fields demand.

The LISC LA event aimed to support DemoChicks, which shares our mission of supporting talent in underinvested communities with the skills and credentials to compete successfully for quality income and wealth opportunities.


Samantha Salmon, Program Assistant
Samantha is passionate about health and economic development in low-income communities and how the two are dependent on each other for eliminating the diabetes and obesity epidemic. She supports LISC’s economic development, health and housing initiatives alongside communications for the office. Prior to LISC, she managed commercial property, owned and managed a raw vegan organic juice bar andwrote a book on fostering a healthy lifestyle on a budget. She holds a bachelor's from New York University in Economics and Africana Studies.