In Her Own Words: Marisol Arboleda-Diaz literally builds a family business

As the pandemic wanes, many women find themselves returning to work, but Marisol Arboleda-Diaz, who started a construction firm with her husband, has been on the job the entire time.

“A significant influence on our way of life and work has been caused by the pandemic. CEOs from a wide range of industries have been forced to take a step back, pivot, and, in some cases, completely rethink their company plans as a result. Introspection and advancement on both a personal and professional level were made possible.

I consider myself lucky to be able to work closely with my husband in the running of our commercial and residential construction company, Gables Construction Group, which we started together. When we got married, I said “I do” to everything, and we became one as a result. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that our church is home, and our workplace is state. We don’t combine the two…and thus far, it’s been successful for us. Working with my husband is enjoyable. It has always been a source of comfort, but it has become even more so during the pandemic.

Covid claimed the lives of two members of my family, my uncle and first cousin with whom I grew up. While I was dealing with my loss and caring for my family, the construction business experienced a major shift. When construction shortages occurred, we had to assist our staff (as well as ourselves) in adjusting to the new situation. In order to keep up with demand, we must now plan our orders months in advance and hope that the materials arrive on time. We have to manage the expectations of our clients. Moreover, we must have faith that there are no additional shortages in our firm that have not yet been identified.

With 26 years of construction experience under my belt, I’ve earned the respect of my colleagues and leaders in the business. Despite the fact that men dominate the construction industry, there are several opportunities for women in the industry, both in the office and on the job site. However, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors, the construction industry would require 650,000 workers by 2022, notwithstanding the pandemic, and women already account for only 10 percent of the workforce. Many organizations, including the National Association of Women in Construction, have stated that the gender pay gap in the construction industry is small, with women earning 99.1 percent of what men receive.

In the construction business, women’s job opportunities include, but are not limited to, hammering, crane operating, and concrete pouring. Administration, planning, design, client service, and project management are some of the other essential responsibilities of a project manager. As a result of the pandemic, new positions have been created to assist in the management of new protocols, regulatory compliance, and supply chain difficulties that have arisen.

Despite the obstacles created by the epidemic, I am comforted by the fact that our company is still thriving as we look to the future. Our leadership, the foundation my husband and I have built, and a fantastic team of professionals who have become like family to us are all factors in our success, which I credit to our team.”

This is a time for virtual community and sharing. If you would like to contribute to this ongoing narrative on the impact of the pandemic, please send an e-mail to esherberg@bizjournals.com.

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