South Florida

Women Breaking Barriers on Major South Florida Construction Project

Women’s Equality Day is this Sunday and a group of women construction workers are showing us that you don’t have to be a man to wear a hard hat, leading the way on a project right in our backyard.

“Suffolk Yates has about 109 employees on this job site and 30 percent of us are women,” said project executive Jessica Chen. “That is something very, very special as the norm is three percent. So to have 30 is very exciting.”

Chen is one of the top executives leading the iconic guitar project at the Seminole Hard Rock hotel and casino in Hollywood. One of their goals is to break the mold and bring gender diversity to the forefront of construction.

"It brings a different perspective, a different outlook to how we solve things. And just by their presence and their excellence, they’re shattering the glass ceiling,” Chen said. “You would expect that so many women would be catty and at each other’s throats but being a male-dominated industry, it’s quite the opposite. We see each other as allies and sisters rather than competitors.”

Tile by tile, this group of females is laying the foundation for future women to succeed in this industry. Hard Rock International is also on board as Forbes ranks them as a leading employer of women for travel and leisure in America.

"The doors are open and it’s up to you to take that next step and promote yourself,” said VP of talent and team member relations Meaghan Ryan. "I think women have come a very long way in a very short period of time, and I think that there is still so much more that we can do and I’m just looking forward to being a part of it.”

These female crews are striving to go all the way to the top.

"The field is open, we’re waiting for you. We’re waiting for a great deal of women that are willing to again continue to shatter the ceiling,” Ryan said. I’ve opened a certain door and I’m leaving it open for you so you can go ahead and raise past me.”

Seminole Gaming has also committed to gender diversity by having a networking and mentorship program specifically for recruiting, promoting and providing educational opportunities for women across the company.

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