Women from all over the concrete and construction industry attended last year's Women in Concrete Luncheon and Forum at World of Concrete. Turn to page 58 for more on the next edition.

While the fall construction season is the busiest time of the year for many people, it also is a reminder that it's time to plan for the off-season. In fact, the next few months mark the in-season for various meetings and conventions.

Women in the concrete industry have seen an increase in networking opportunities outside of the traditional technical associations in which they participate with their male colleagues. They often are not only an opportunity for knowledge, but also for renewal.

Do you belong to any of these associations or attend any events tailored for women working in the concrete industry? If you haven't yet, it's time to try them.

The women of the Ohio Ready-Mix Concrete Association have organized their meetings to provide an opportunity for women working in the concrete industry to come together and share ideas, while enhancing their technical knowledge about ready mixed concrete in a casual and fun setting. The Ladies Educational And Ready-Mix Network (LEARN) recently held their fall meeting and heard a speaker on proper flatwork finishing techniques, complete with a hands-on demonstration. For more information about LEARN, telephone 614-891-0210.

Perhaps one of the longest running networking events occurs semi-annually at the American Concrete Institute (ACI) convention. This is a great opportunity to get to know a wide range of women involved in the concrete industry. The next Women in ACI reception occurs this month in Denver.

The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) is for women who work in all areas of construction. NAWIC recently held its 51st annual convention in Kansas City, Mo., last September. The mission is “to enhance the success of women in the construction industry.”

Fun too

I found the annual meeting fun and informative. There was a wide range of speakers who provided professional improvement seminars, such as getting paid on construction projects and winning government contracts. But my, and seemingly the group's, favorite speaker was Alice Rowe. The nationally known motivational speaker spoke about communication and how to encourage cooperation. NAWIC also offers regional meetings for networking and education.

For block producers, the National Association for Women in Masonry (NAWM) strives to enhance the leadership skills of women in the masonry building industry through education, training, and networking. Although it is a fairly new organization, members keep an active schedule of events and monthly e-meetings. Earlier this year, five members of NAWM traveled to Santiago, Chile, to participate in Expo Hormigon, a technology-based tradeshow showcasing women.

And my favorite—because I'm involved—The Women in Concrete Luncheon and Forum returns again to World of Concrete. Turn to page 58 for more information.

These are just a handful of associations. I'm sure you have benefitted from other women's networking opportunities. Please send me these events so I can share them with our readers.