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Stepping Aside for Joan Magill

We're guilty: Women in construction continue to be underrepresented

Joan Magill has let very little stand in her path.

Not patronizing men as she gained status and clout in Maryland’s real estate market.

Not a disgruntled ex-employee who once stole all her clients (she got them back).

Not a herd of buffalo that once gathered on one of her properties and somehow had to be relocated.

And not the fact that this magazine has never had a profile of a woman as its cover story.

As the face of the most recent US Builders Review edition, Magill appears dressed in all black, half seated, half lying down against an off-white background. She leans over her company’s 3D logo, looking directly at you.

Landmark moments like this aren’t supposed to be embarrassing. Yet they are when they occur so far after their expected arrival.

Magill deserves to be on the cover of a magazine. She’s an exceptional person, and we are honored for her to break our long-lasting drought.

Celebrating the first woman-as-cover-story is, in a way, ludicrous. It’s like declaring victory for landing on the moon—50 years from now. Or seeking credit for pouring a concrete foundation hundreds of years after concrete’s invention. Been there. Done that. A long, long time ago.

And yet there is a lesson to be learned and shared through our placement of Joan Magill’s story.

Too often, groups of people forestall moving forward because it requires admitting past wrongdoing.

Often, it happens after a major turning point, a quieter form of discrimination that exists out in the open. Schools were segregated long after slavery was abolished, and recent government studies show a trend back towards less diversity in schools. Today, women’s wages continue to trail men’s long after the landmark Equal Pay Act of 1963 was passed to abolish such unfairness.

To put it in the terms of construction: How many projects would be completed sooner if every hitch was admitted to and addressed, then and there? How many flawed designs would be avoided if designers only shared their conundrums with their clients, unafraid of appearing weak or incompetent?

This point may seem trivial, but there’s plenty at stake.

Evidence abounds that the building industry must do more to realistically level the playing field not only for women, but for veterans and ethnic minority groups that struggle to compete in the lucrative construction industry. The fact that a woman has only once appeared on the cover of US Builders Review, a publication that identifies as the voice of the construction industry, reflects the male-dominated environment.

If you don’t believe us, consider what the government has to say.

In December 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency released a report that found among minority business enterprises, 86 percent struggle with networking barriers, 83 percent struggle to meet bonding requirements, 78 percent struggle to receive timely payments and 77 percent lack access to the capital necessary to take on the contracts they bid.

All of which indicates, despite decades of government incentives and requirements to include minority owned businesses, struggles abound. (And not just for the DBEs or MWBEs, as they’re known. Read about the struggles of contractors in meeting restrictive government requirements to hire DBEs and MWBEs here.)

Gender notwithstanding, Magill deserves to be on the cover of a magazine. She’s an exceptional person, and we are honored for her to break our long-lasting drought.

And she is a sharp reminder to never stop looking inwards. We hope our readers will do the same, and that they will turn to US Builders Review when they do.

Read Magill’s full story, and more, in our latest edition.

Testimonials

Kyle Gahm was instrumental in coordinating this project from beginning to end. He was always available and a pleasure to work with. It would be a pleasure to work with Kyle down the road. Bill Keaton was very impressive in raising money from advertising which resulted in ASE getting the cover story, so thank you Bill. Lia Prysunka and Jeanee Dudley are both very impressive individuals who deserve a lot of credit for this featured piece. They were both very patient and accepting of any changes we suggested. The format, quality, and resolution was awesome. To sum it all up: Our upper management, who never have been high on PR and things of this nature said that it was "absolutely fantastic" and were blown away. They now are requesting multiple copies of the full magazine and are very proud of the work you all put in. Thanks again.
— Ryan Sanzari, Director of Operations, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises
I was contacted as a nominee for the Greenbuild Editor’s Choice 2016 recognition and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Working with US Builders Review has been a blessing for my company. Erica Berry took an awesome interview in the initial call as she gathered data for the article. She was concerned about how we became us, and she made me feel important by listening and taking notes. Then there is Ian Nichols who made me feel so comfortable in sharing my story, and Molly Shaw who interviewed me as well, as she was getting ready to create an awesome article about my company -- and I must say she nailed it on the first run! What a pleasure it has been to work with everyone. This feature on Container Homes USA will help me push the company into the forefront at the Greenbuild Expo 2016.
— Derrick C. W. Childs, Director Construction & Design, Container Homes USA
Professional with attention to customer’s needs. Well prepared vision for article while open to suggestions. Provided plenty feedback and review prior to final draft. Thanks in advance for the assistance and promotion of our organization!
— Jason Lee, LEED AP O+M, Director of Sustainability and Optimization for Harvard Maintenance
Everyone that we worked with was polite, professional, responsive & very good to work with. It was amazing to see the ideas transformed into the final product. We are very happy with the end results and would not hesitate to work with them in the future or recommend them to other business!
— James Kowalski, Owner, Kowalski Construction Inc.
I would like to commend the US Builders Review staff for their work in developing and writing a fantastic article for Miller Contracting Group, Inc. It was truly a pleasure to work with their professional and well organized staff.
— Chuck Daniels, Business Manager, Miller Contracting Group Inc.
The staff was very helpful and easy to work with while developing our story. They were always open to our ideas and provided us useful information to maximize our visibility using social media. We were certainly pleased with final article.
— Daryl Whitmer, Marketing Program Manager, Harrison French & Associates (HFA)
The final product was an exceptionally well written and thorough story integrated with many of our project photos. It is a great endorsement of our company and our work that we are promoting on our website and through social media. We were impressed with the quality of the editorial and the professional follow-through.
— Susan Howell, Marketing Director for Howell Custom Building Group
I was contacted by the company to write a review on my business. They handled the process very efficient and professional. The pictures came out great and the article was perfect. I am very happy with their work.
— Kirt McGhee, Owner, K4M Construction
Kyle and his team were very professional and patient in explaining their program to us. Their communications were clear and concise and did a great job of guiding us through the process of getting published in their magazine.
— Michael Henthorn, Owner, Henthorn Commercial Construction
Ryan at TrueLine was a pleasure to work with and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend him or TrueLine to anyone in the future. They were professional, organized and great to work with through the process!
— James Cahill, President and Partner, J. Calnan & Associates

LATEST EDITION

Spring 2018

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