8 March 2023

Essential women in essential industry – a year in the spotlight

  • Global Cement and Concrete Industry shines light on essential work of women around world, starting on International Women’s Day. 
  • Year-long campaign will feature work of women in first global heavy industry committed to achieving net zero.  
  • More than 100 video-stories highlight the skills of women engineers, sustainability VPs, executives, plant workers, HR managers, drivers, finance teams any many others. 

A new campaign has been launched to highlight the essential role women play in the global cement and concrete industry, featuring video testimonials from more than 100 women across the world.

The Global Cement and Concrete Association, whose member companies operate across the world, is running this campaign to help encourage more women to join the key industry in 2023.

To mark International Women’s Day, the GCCA asked women working for its member companies to make short films profiling their work. The organisation was amazed by the response – with more than 120 videos already submitted by women in a wide variety of roles, and with many more promised.

The videos will now be featured on social media and by the GCCA on its website over the next year, here: https://gccassociation.org/IWD2023 

The GCCA and its members represent 80% of global cement production capacity outside of China and include some key Chinese companies. They have all committed to reducing, and ultimately eliminating CO2 emissions, (which currently account for about 7% globally), through implementation of the GCCA’s Concrete Future 2050 Net Zero Roadmap – the first heavy industry to set out such a detailed plan. 

The videos highlighting the work of women across the industry, include: 

A weighbridge operator in Ireland, Megan Mulholland, who works for Breedon. She said: “I think the industry is changing as more women are coming through. It’s great to see. If any woman is considering a career in the construction industry, I say go for it. Every day is different.” 

Truck driver, Shelly King, from Sanford in Florida, USA, who said: “A woman can do it, a man can do it – anybody can do it, as long as they’re 21 and up. Easy work!”  

In the same video, her colleague Jo Boyett, from Jacksonville in Florida, agrees: “If you want to get in a truck, and run the roads – do it. If you want to come work for us with some concrete -do it. See some really cool things built like bridges and big buildings, come do it. It’s all within anyone’s capabilities. Personally, I think it’s fun!” 

Majida Chahine is a Chief Operating Officer with Secil and has been working as a general manager in the concrete industry in Lebanon, since 1997. In her video she said: “I was the first woman in the Middle East to become a general manager for a male dominated concrete business. I faced challenges along the way. I never compromised my values. On International Women’s Day I encourage all women to pursue their dreams and break barriers to create a better future for themselves and others.” 

Aparna Dutt Sharma, Secretary General, Cement Manufacturers’ Association, India, is also featured. She said: “I would like to wish all women across the world a very happy International Women’s Day. I’m told I’m probably the first woman Secretary General of the CMA in its almost 60 years history. I’m sure I won’t be the last. It’s an industry that’s highly dynamic, it’s an industry that’s growing, and most of all it offers an opportunity to lead from the front at every level.  

Claude Lorea is the GCCA’s cement director and another pioneering woman in the industry. She said: “Concrete is essential to us all. It provides homes, connects communities, encourages trade, provides energy, and improves health. The wide-reaching roles covered by the women in these videos demonstrate the variety of skills they provide to our industry. Having a diverse industry enables us to problem solve and succeed. There’s still a lot more we have to do, to have gender parity in heavy industries like ours. But today and throughout 2023, we celebrate the women already working with us to break down barriers.” 

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Media enquiries should be directed to:

Paul Adeleke

Communications and Policy Director