This week we celebrate Women in Construction Week (WIC) and the many women who work in and make important contributions to our industry every day! We are pleased to share the stories from many of the women who work and live in NH and VT. The project was created in partnership with I Build NH and NAWIC Granite State Chapter.  Lydia Cahan

Why Construction?
While driving throughout NH as a child, my father would always point out structures that he had a hand in building. "We did the brick work on that hospital, we poured the concrete foundations for this school," etc. 

From a young age, I always wanted to get my feet in the construction industry's door, largely in part to my father's influence. I always had such admiration for my father's work, and still do to this day, I knew I had to be a part of it. 

What is your education/training background?
I have a Bachelor's Degree from the University of New Hampshire in Health Management and Policy, and a MBA from Southern New Hampshire University in Project Management. 

Since working at Mas-Con Corporation, I have completed many other certificate programs and training related to the construction and masonry industries. 

How did you find yourself working in the construction industry?
I left New Hampshire after college for a much needed reset. A year later, I found myself back home working for my father's commercial masonry company. I spent my first summer back home working as a part time laborer, and part time safety manager. My role quickly escalated into estimator, and then into project manager. 

What do you enjoy most about your career?
Although the company I work for deals with only masonry and concrete, the diversity from job-to-job keeps every day interesting. No two days are the same! Working in construction is challenging and difficult, but very rewarding at the end of the day, and even more rewarding at the end of a successful project. 

I have also enjoyed the many relationships I have created with architects, engineers, general contractors, construction managers, and a variety of other players in the industry!

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
One of my first jobs as project manager was for the new Goel Center for Theater and Dance at Phillips Exeter Academy. The 20" long grey brick came to NH in shipping containers from the brick company Petersen, based out of Sweden!

It was very exciting and rewarding to work on this project with Daniel O'Connell's Sons, one of New England's largest general contractors - and connect with masonry experts in Sweden!

What advice do you have for women who want to work in the construction industry?
The construction industry has so many different avenues for you to explore and take which can lead to a long and successful career. The day-to-day challenges and the wide variety of projects is what keeps things interesting. As a woman, it won't always be easy. You'll have good days and bad days, but hopefully the good will outweigh the bad. And don't forget, be sure to have a great support system outside of work. These people can make all the difference for you!


Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association representing nearly 21,000 chapter members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically, profitably and for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. ABC's membership represents all specialties within the U.S. construction industry and is comprised primarily of firms that perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors.

I Build New Hampshire
I Build NH represents the construction sector of the state through the Sector Partnerships Initiative (SPI). I Build NH represents companies involved in heavy construction like municipal water treatment systems and road building, electric and telecommunication infrastructure, civil engineering, heating/ventilation/air conditioning businesses and more.

National Association of Women in Construction
The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) has over 115 chapters throughout the United States, including the NAWIC Granite State Chapter. NAWIC provides its members with opportunities for professional development, education, networking, leadership training, public service and more. NAWIC advocates for the value and impact of women builders, professionals and tradeswomen in all aspects of the construction industry.