For Martha George, the fast pace is one of the most exciting things about the construction industry. Not so much the pace of work – quality takes time, as she points out – but the way decisions are made. “(Tradespeople) have tremendous problem-solving ability. They make decisions and they make them quickly. They have to. Otherwise they hold up the job.”
Martha found her niche in the construction business world when she applied her marketing and sales background to co-found George Masonry with her husband in Kitchener, Ontario. “It was a tremendous learning curve for me,” she says.
Not only did she learn the craft, she lives it. And she loves it. As well as being general manager of a busy company, Martha is active on numerous community construction advisory boards and associations.
Martha has developed a deep appreciation for the art and craft of stone and brick masonry and that sense of pride in a job well-done is the most satisfying part of her work. “Unlike with some (construction professions), your work is exposed. Every detail is there for somebody’s eye and it’s there for years to come. It’s really marvelous when you drive around the city to be able to say ‘we built that.’”
To women just getting into the industry, Martha says: “Have a passion for it. Look forward to going to work every day. It’s not work, if you love what you do. And don’t settle for sameness. Women are different from men. We always were and always will be. Adapt to the working methods and be flexible. But don’t lose yourself. With that attitude, I’ve had no problem at all. Have a willingness to learn and a positive attitude. Know what you’re talking about, but don’t take yourself too seriously. You can overcome any obstacle.”