Vice president and business unit leader, Gilbane Building Co., Richmond
Maggie Reed is a registered architect, but she found fulfillment in construction. “I’m not great at sitting,” she says, and working for Gilbane Building Co., as she has done for her entire 19-year career, not only suited what she describes as her “ability to run around,” but was “the right mix of cerebral and problem solving.”
In her role as vice president and business unit leader, Reed is responsible for driving sales and consistency in operations while overseeing more than $750 million in projects and supervising 70 employees. That’s a big job that she says requires tough-mindedness and caring in equal parts. That, plus a recognition of the importance of teamwork.
A two-time All-American in women’s rugby at Penn State, Reed is part of Girls For a Change’s building and property committee and has facilitated externships and career shadowing for young women. She also is a mentor in the Women in Construction Conference.
Reed proudly points out that 25% of the leadership team at Gilbane is made up of women and minorities, a percentage that far eclipses the profession’s standard of about 9%.
Being a woman leader, especially in a male-dominated field such as construction, requires resiliency. “It’s a skill you can never spend enough time on,” she says. “This door may close, but you can find another door. If you get knocked down a lot, you get back up.”