One of Arizona’s top-ranked and female-owned general contractors wants to give young women inspiration, knowledge and opportunity to enter its traditionally male industries. Sharp Construction is launching the Girls Can Build initiative today. It will partner with the Girls Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council on its first project – a mobile building space to be operated by the Girl Scouts.
Also supporting the initiative and helping to create the building space are The Design School at Arizona State University, Stratton Motor Cars and Kenzy Architecture & Interiors.
“Women only make up about 10 percent of the construction industry and breaking those barriers continues to be a challenge,” said Tiffany Sharp, Principal of Sharp Construction. “With Girls Can Build, we want to inspire young women who love to design and build both by breaking down stereotypes around women in the industry and by showing girls the life skills and career opportunities the fields can provide.”
With more young women exploring non-traditional education paths and careers, Girls Can Build will power projects and programs that give girls hands-on experience and mentorship in engineering, building, construction and design. The initiative has partnered with the Girl Scouts for its first project – fundraising and uniting other Phoenix businesses to create a mobile building space that will be operated by the Girl Scouts.
With the mobile building space, the Girl Scouts plan to take an educational curriculum on the road. The traveling program would provide girls with access to tools and workshops that teach them building skills, basics of the design and build process and career opportunities in the industry.
“We want to create a workforce that better supports girls and women and that starts with inspiring girls to explore, experience and learn about career opportunities in non-traditional ways,” said Christina Spicer, Interim CEO of the Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, “With the mobile building space, we will be able to bring these opportunities to girls quite literally to their doorsteps in their communities throughout Arizona.”
The Design School at Arizona State University will support Girls Can Build and the Girl Scouts on the project by assisting with curriculum development.
Also providing key support are Stratton Motor Cars and Kenzy Architecture & Interiors. These women-led Arizona companies will collaborate on the design and build of the mobile unit. They describe it as a vehicle that will expand to create interior and exterior spaces for workshops, collaborations and learning experiences.
The Girl Scouts hope to roll out the mobile space in Fall 2022, but first funds must be raised to purchase, design and equip the van. Sharp said Girls Can Build will power community-driven projects like the mobile building space by helping connect them to resources and funding partners.