Despite the threat of COVID-19, WofA had a very successful CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 in Las Vegas. In addition to connecting with a variety of amazing people in the industry, there were many exciting activities and events. The highlights were:
Founding members Amy Miller and Natasha Ozybko participated in the show’s opening ceremonies where the worlds largest 3D printed statue, a FEMALE construction worker, was unveiled. For the first time in CONEXPO-CON/AGG history, a WOMAN greeted attendees at the conference. The Director of the Nevada DOT, Kristina Swallow, members of NAWIC, and members of the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 team also participated in the ground-breaking festivities.
Sponsored by World of Asphalt 2021, WofA hosted the ever-popular Networking Mixer. The event was well attended and fun was had by all. In addition to networking and mixing with other supporters of WofA, attendees enjoyed free adult beverages and walked away with a WofA stainless steel stemless wine glass and a WofA/WOA 2021 Koozie.
WofA partnered with CONEPO-CON/AGG 2020 and the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) to host the following events.
- Genders on the Jobsite Breakfast : This event, which included a continental breakfast, explored how women experience job site opportunities and challenges. The discussion included how everyone has a role in keeping job sites productive and safe for all workers. The candid interview dialogue was between national diversity advocate Vicki O’Leary and documentary film maker Lorien Barlow.
- Ask the Influencers — Panel Discussion & Meetup with Instagram’s Most Popular Construction Minds: This panel discussion and networking event featured Missy Scherber of T. Scherber Demolition & Excavating, Aaron Witt of BuildWitt, Keaton Turner of Turner Mining Group, and Stacey Tompkins of Tompkins Excavating, plus numerous other influencers in attendance. The panel answered questions on using social media to recruit new hires, developing your corporate values and culture, taking your marketing to the next level, and the changing face of the construction industry.
- Widening Your Workforce Executive Lunch Forum: This session featured a female executive panel offering insights on how to open the door to a wider workforce base. The moderator engaged the audience through brief interactive peer to peer discussions, as well as questions for the panelists and idea sharing to explore how we can best make our culture match the needs and wants of our changing workforce.
For the second year in a row, Women of Asphalt held their annual event in conjunction with World of Asphalt. Activities kicked off on Tuesday afternoon with a panel discussion featuring five exceptional ladies: Jess Hughes (Superior Bowen), Dr. Becky McDaniel (Purdue University), Amy Schumacher (The Heritage Group), Isabell Troxell (Ajax Paving), and Marquisha Williams (Milestone Contractors). The room was filled to capacity as Dr. Rita Leahy moderated a lively conversation highlighting recruiting and retaining women, the benefits of having a mentor, and advice for ladies just starting out in the industry. The floor was then opened to a Q&A session during which many in the audience shared personal stories including working for and with women during their careers.
Immediately following the panel discussion activities moved back to the tradeshow floor for what has quickly become the “can’t miss” event of the week, the Women of Asphalt Networking Mixer. We had a record attendance at this year’s event (almost 400 attendees!) which once again featured a photo booth and props, an open bar, and WofA swag (cups, trucker hats, and the coveted souvenir t-shirt). The mixer provided a fun and informal atmosphere to engage with other men and women within the industry and educate attendees about the goals of Women of Asphalt.
A third event was added to the agenda this year. We were honored to have Sarah Fisher as our Keynote Speaker on Wednesday morning. Mrs. Fisher is an accomplished IndyCar driver and business woman. She shared her experiences and keys to success working in a male-dominated industry.
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Thank you to everyone who supported our inaugural event. Women of Asphalt made their debut at World of Asphalt in Houston, Texas, in March 2018. We had a tremendous turnout (see pictures below) at the mixer on Tuesday and lively conversation at the round-table discussion on Wednesday. This was the first of what we hope will become a tradition: bringing together and celebrating WOMEN of ASPHALT.