Women working in construction WIC Week

Celebrating Women in Construction Week

Many of you are aware that we provide construction accounting services to all aspects of the construction industry. From General Contractors to subs and every trade, architect, engineer, and in between, we are here to serve you and your business. What you may not know is the first week of March is Women in Construction week, also known as WIC Week.

In 1998, the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) held the first WIC Week. This year, NAWIC’s theme is “Keys to the Future, celebrating the strength and knowledge of women and the vital role they play in shaping the future of the construction industry.”

In honor of Women in Construction week, we decided to switch gears and provide some firsts women have achieved in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) industry in the United States.


Louise Blanchard Bethune: The first woman architect has many firsts to her name. She opened her own practice in 1881 and by the time she was 33-years old, she already designed over 75 buildings throughout the Buffalo, New York area. Her designs included the Hotel Lafayette, the first transformer building to bring electricity from Niagara Falls to Buffalo, 18 school buildings and many more. She was the first woman admitted to an architectural professional association (Western Association of Architects, in 1885), the first woman admitted to the American Institute of Architects in 1888, and the first woman named to the Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1889.


Nora Stanton Blatch Barney: The first woman to become a civil engineer in America was also a 1905 graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Her career included working for the New York Public Service Commission, the Public Works Administration in Connecticut and Rhode Island where she was an architect, engineering inspector and structural-steel designer. She was the first woman to be admitted as a member (with junior status) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In 2017, the New York Department of Environmental Protection named a tunnel boring machine in honor of Nora Stanton Blatch Barney for her groundbreaking work on New York City’s first reservoir and aqueduct in the Catskill Mountains.


Emily Warren Roebling, is one of the first documented women in construction. In 1872, she became the supervisor of construction of the Brooklyn Bridge when her husband, Washington Roebling, the chief engineer for the project became an invalid from decompression sickness. For 11 years, “Emily served as her husband’s liaison with the engineering team, and over time she displayed such proficiency in the issues of construction, materials, and cable fabrication that some observers concluded she had assumed the duties of chief engineer.”

Supporting Philadelphia Women in Construction

Our first female partner at Wouch Maloney, Adrienne Straccione, CPA, CCIFP, is an active member of many construction organizations in the Philadelphia region. She is a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of NAWIC and volunteers with the Block Kids program each November.   

In addition, Adrienne serves on the board of directors as treasurer for the Philadelphia Chapter of Professional Women in Construction.

In 2023, Adrienne earned her Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional (CCIFP) designation from the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA). To be eligible for the exam, you must have 4,000 hours of experience in construction-related activities. Of the 1,150 professionals nationwide, who hold a CCIFP designation, only 32% are women.

Apprenticeships and Mentors in Construction

Many trade organizations offer apprenticeships yet only 10.9% of the construction workforce is held by women, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As the number of women working in construction grows, it is important to support and mentor anyone who expresses an interest in a career in the AEC industry. If you or anyone you know are seeking a mentor, be certain to explore the many construction organizations and groups throughout the Philadelphia and South Jersey region.

As always, should you have questions on this or other matters affecting you or your business, please call 215.675.8364 or email us to speak with a CPA today.

DISCLAIMER: The WM Update, WM Wednesday Wisdom, WM Daily Update, and other related communications are intended to provide general information, as of the date of this communication, and may reference information from reputable sources. Although our firm has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information provided is accurate, we make no warranties, expressed or implied, on the information provided. As legislative efforts are still ongoing, we expect that there may be additional guidance and clarification from regulators that may modify some of the provisions in this communication. Some of those modifications may be significant. As such, be aware that this is not a comprehensive analysis of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide specific recommendations to you or your business with respect to the matters addressed.


Louise Blanchard Bethune: https://pioneeringwomen.bwaf.org/louise-blanchard-bethune/

Nora Stanton Blatch Barney: https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2017/03/nyc-tunnel-borer-named-cornell-engineer-suffragist

Emily Warren Roebling: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Emily-Warren-Roebling

US Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat18.htm; Women in the labor force: a databook : BLS Reports: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics