by Christy Heitger-Ewing | photos by Adam Grubb Media

The first annual Women Build It event, hosted by Haven Media & BAGI, made it clearer than ever that Central Indiana’s women in construction are a force to be reckoned with.

Michelle Merritt kicked the day off by discussing a topic most women in the professional world struggle with: knowing your worth. Merritt touched on how to best present and discuss your skills when seeking a new role, as well as how to advocate for the salary you deserve. This topic effortlessly led into breakout discussions, with women from all backgrounds, education, and experience levels bonding over their shared struggle.

Merritt was followed by Amber Fields, Chief Culture Officer and Partner with trueU, who focused on the importance of mentorship. The women in attendance were asked to identify characteristics of mentors in their life and challenged to work on both finding and being mentors to fellow women in the industry. The Women Build It conference was the perfect place to connect with women eager to grow together.

Throughout the day, breakout groups allowed women who quickly became strangersturned-friends to connect on topics ranging from speaking up in professional settings to representation in the workplace. The Spirit of Cooperation activity encouraged attendees to venture from their groups to connect with other women in the industry. The day fostered an exciting, welcoming environment for women to network, brainstorm, and learn.

The conference portion of the day ended with a panel discussion featuring a group of strong leaders in the industry – Millie Hindes (Watergate Roofing), Diana Dinges (Ferguson), Devon Bloxom (Estridge), and Stacy Stater (Home & Willow). This group further showcased the powerhouse women present in the Central Indiana design and construction field. The buzz that carried on throughout the day continued into cocktail hour, where coworkers and new acquaintances further connected. With the September issue of Haven Magazine open to stories about our community’s businesswomen, the day fully celebrated and emphasized the inspiring women that work in the local Indianapolis design and construction industry.

We look forward to an even bigger and better day to celebrate women next year. To get an inside look at the day, visit