May 6, 2016

The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908 in West Virginia, according to Wikipedia. A woman named Anna Jarvis held a memorial service for her mother who had been a peace activist and cared for wounded soldiers during the American Civil War. Anna wanted to honor her mother and set aside a day to honor all mothers, because she believed they were the “person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”

DPR is proud of its many talented and empowered female employees and all that they accomplish each and every day. With Mother’s Day approaching, we are especially thankful for all working moms, whose tireless energy and endless ambition is an inspiration to all.

Most recently, DPR’s Deborah Beetson, a mother of two daughters, was recognized by The Commonweath Institute South Florida as part of a list of top ranking, for-profit, women-led organizations in Florida. With over 30 years of experience under her belt, Deborah’s leadership not only continues to raise the bar in the construction industry, but also sets a lasting example for aspiring female leaders and working moms.

“Long before the term ‘lean-in’ had significance, I grasped its importance,” said Beetson. "There were so many opportunities to take on large projects and roles, stuff that scared me but I knew I had to just jump in. All of these things were happening as I was raising two daughters and building upon my marriage. Sometimes I didn’t know how I was going to make it all work, but I just focused on the issues at hand and everything always had a way of falling into place.”

For any female, working mom or not, navigating through the construction industry can be a tough but rewarding experience.

“When I entered the construction world there were not many women to hold up as models or mentors, but I did encounter a few who exemplified behavior that I did not want to adopt, simply because they were trying to behave like their male counterparts and it just didn’t fit my style. So I learned that it was more important to just be myself, listen and learn. That way, anyone I worked with would recognize the value I could bring to their project,” said Beetson.

Today, the industry is still a male-dominated field. The percent of women in the construction industry is currently only nine percent (2014 US Bureau of Labor Statistics). However, thanks to trailblazing women like Deborah we hope that number will quickly change.

“It is clear that women are well suited for this industry,” said Beetson. “Women have an incredible knack for detailed work so digging into design details, estimating, handling cost management come easily.  Women are also natural consensus builders and bring a positive dynamic to teams which is so essential to foster collaboration and see the other side of the issue through the other person’s view.”

A recent West Palm Beach project, The Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute, exemplifies the industry’s progress in terms of female leadership. The facility was designed and constructed by a 90 percent female team, who shared the ultimate goal of leaving a lasting impact on women’s healthcare in the community.

Projects like these pave the way for the next generation of women in the industry, women with goals of becoming leaders and influencers within their workplace. 

Deborah Beetson stands with other awards recipients at The Commonwealth Institute's awards ceremony

Mothers at DPR's Redwood City office were treated to a special Mother's Day omelet bar earlier this morning