I was thrilled to be able to take the time to attend last week’s Women in Residential Construction convention in Scottsdale, Arizona. The location was beautiful, I was inspired by the speakers, and I was happy to network with so many passionate, dedicated women working around the country in this industry that I love!

Many of the challenges that we are facing locally are also problematic nationwide. Every builder/remodeler that I spoke to one on one had the same problems, and the problems all stem from the labor shortage: increased time required for quality control, job timeline increases, and price increases for labor.  We are all struggling with paying more for work that is taking longer. And while I didn’t come away with the “magic bullet” solution to the labor problem, it was great to know that we are not alone!

I may be peeking into this picture from the back row, but I was front and center networking with all of these amazing women for this fabulous convention in beautiful Scottsdale.

It wasn’t all work at this convention! We played poker one evening with Poker Divas. This organization gives women a significant edge in business and in life by teaching assertiveness, leadership, and negotiating skills through the fun and excitement of poker. As anyone who knows me knows, I don’t suffer from lack of assertiveness! That being said, this event was a fun diversion and a good reminder that I can always work towards being bolder and sharpening my business skills, and what a fun environment in which to do it! Learn more about Poker Divas by clicking here!

I was so encouraged by many of the fantastic speakers. I left the convention with a greater sense of what has always guided me, which is to “do the right thing” whether you are a woman in a man’s field or your pay or level of respect is less than your male counterpart. I have found that by doing the right thing, I am able to gradually bring attention to injustices in this area and make strides toward rectifying them.

My other takeaway was that the networking I did at this conference with women was so helpful for me in feeling more included in this industry. I want to bring that feeling to the women in our local area, and so I am going to work towards establishing a local chapter of NAHB’s Professional Woman in Building. We need woman who are passionate about this problem to help tactfully bring attention to this need by speaking at the local education institutions and helping girls and women feel comfortable going into this field.

I was so inspired by Dawn Duhamel, Director of Sales and Marketing at Possibilities for Design, who gave a talk on “Grace Under Fire,” which focused on dealing with developing resiliency in the face of unexpected (and sometimes traumatic) change. This topic is something I believe everyone can relate to and learn from! Dawn had some great suggested readings that I am sharing with you here:

  • “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero
  • “The life changing magic of tidying up- The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo
  • “The Crossroads of Should and Must-Find and Follow your Passion” by Elle Luna
  • “The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know” Katty Kay and Clair Shipman.

I am currently reading “Give and Take-A Revolutionary Approach to Success” by Adam Grant and I definitely recommend it!