CMAA is tackling the gender gap.
In a move most organizations have yet to experience, the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) has named its first female President and Chief Executive Officer, closing the 36-year gender gap. Andrea Rutledge is no stranger to the construction industry, and she is not afraid to tackle issues long considered problematic: diversity and workforce development. Rutledge is comfortable taking matters into her own hands and disrupting the status quo.
The construction industry, like others, is slow to experience change.
“One of the keys to embracing new ways of thinking and working is to bring people with different perspectives into the workforce: women, younger professionals, and individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives,” Rutledge said.
“I’m a firm believer in choosing the best person for the job and making that selection from among a diverse group of candidates. Otherwise, how will we yield new insights and new experiences?”
In addition to bringing more women into C-suite roles in the U.S., the construction industry also needs to address the decrease in the number of young people interested in construction careers. This challenges CMAA to look for new ways to make the profession attractive to young people, especially women and people from underrepresented groups.
“Our industry is very complex [and] yet ripe for change,” stated CMAA Chair Chris Payne, PE, CCM. “Companies need to make a continued commitment towards diversity and developing our workforce. Andrea is a disruptor, and disruptors make things happen.”
Armed with a bright pink hard hat, safety vest, and glasses, Rutledge is not afraid to disrupt the construction site as well.
“I want to see these projects during construction, meet the fascinating people working on them, and inspire our women and early career professionals to find new ways to accomplish objectives,” added Rutledge.
“We can see her coming, and she will not stop until we challenge ourselves to learn to do things differently,” Payne said.