On July 19, 2022, the Women of Asphalt Board met and appointed Beth Duffus, Granite Project Manager, to its Board of Trustees.
Beth began her career at Granite in 2007 directly after graduating from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in construction management. She currently works out of Granite’s Everett, Washington office in the Pacific Northwest Region. In addition, she is a founding member of GROW (Granite Resources & Opportunities for Women) and has been a part of Women of Asphalt since 2019.
Women of Asphalt exists to inspire, support, and recruit women in the asphalt sector. Engineering, science, and construction have historically been male-dominated industries. Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of women moving into these fields due in part to the efforts of Women of Asphalt.
“This nomination is the result of many years of hard work making a name for myself at Granite and in the asphalt industry in Washington. I am so very proud of what it took to get here and how both Granite and Women of Asphalt are supporting and encouraging women to join this industry. All parties are realizing there is a large untapped market that would succeed if just given the chance,” said Beth. “This is also showcasing Granite as a leader in advocating for women in the asphalt industry and the construction industry on a national level.”
Full interview with Beth Duffus
Hi Beth—first of all, congratulations! How long have you been involved with NAPA/Women of Asphalt?
I have been a part of NAPA for over 10 years. I have been a part of Women of Asphalt since 2019.
Tell us a bit about your personal life. What/who inspires you?
Honestly the women joining the industry now are who inspire me. They inspire me to help forge a path so that it is easier for them in the future to allow for an even bigger path for more women to walk down. The women starting out their careers are the ones that motivate me to do bigger and better things.
I got started in construction because of my dad, who is a civil engineer. I originally wanted to be an architect because I thought buildings were amazing, but soon found that really cool things happen where the rubber meets the road so to speak. Honestly, I fell into paving and now I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sometimes as an outsider looking in people may think every paving job is the same and asphalt is asphalt…but every day/project is different and each one you learn something new.
How long have you been in the field?
I have been at Granite for 15 years (right out of college).
What has your experience been like as a woman in this industry? Is this different from your perception prior to entering the field?
This is a testament to my managers in Washington, but I have never felt like a “woman” in construction. I have always felt like I was part of the team or a project engineer just as my male counterparts. Have I been met with challenges with owners/inspectors? Of course. But I have always had the support of my superintendents and project managers who supported me in my role and eventually I earned the respect of the owner/inspector.
I truly didn’t have a perception when entering the field…I was maybe more shocked when I showed up that I would be met with adversity. For my generation it was just the norm to not have many women in college getting a construction management degree, but I also still felt part of the team with my fellow students.
What does this nomination mean to you, and more importantly what does this nomination mean for Granite and the industry as a whole?
This nomination is the result of many years of hard work making a name for myself at Granite and in the asphalt industry in Washington. At my office it is often joked about that I am the paving queen…today I felt that. I am so very proud of what it took to get here and how both Granite/NAPA and Women of Asphalt are supporting and encouraging women to join this industry. All parties are realizing there is a large untapped market that would succeed if just given the chance.
This is also showcasing Granite as a leader in advocating for women in the asphalt industry and the construction industry on a national level.
Tell us your view on the importance of attracting and recruiting more women into our industry.
As past president and founding member of GROW (Granite’s Resources and Opportunities for Women) attracting, recruiting, and RETAINING women is one of my main areas of focus. What can we do at a local level, what can we do in the field, and what can we do at a corporate level…We talk about that all of the time and it is also ever changing. We also talk about how a one size fits all approach doesn’t always work, which is why bringing women into the industry now is paramount. The professional world is changing and that brings with it opportunities. I am very excited about the future of women in construction, especially Granite and asphalt. Women are the future of construction.
What does NAPA do to help move the industry forward?
NAPA is looking forward, whether it be actively supporting Women in Asphalt or being a leader in sustainability— NAPA is paving the way.
Join us in congratulating Beth on her nomination!
For more information on Women of Asphalt, visit www.womenofasphalt.org