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Founders

Sami Goldsteen

Co-Founder and Director of Development

During the recent pandemic, at the age of sixteen years old, I had the opportunity to observe a leading infrastructure company up close and watch or listen to online conferences, Zoom meetings and presentations. While watching, I began to notice that there were literally no female voices or faces.   As someone who attends an all girls school in Bethesda, Maryland this was shocking and inspired me to start buildgirls.org with my sisters.  I quickly discovered that less than 2% of the top leadership roles at large infrastructure firms are held by women. I also discovered that despite being one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the world, women make up just 10% of the industry’s workforce. Given the many articles about the future of the industry and shortage of qualified workers – I thought – how can this possibly be? Outraged by my observations, my sisters and I decided we needed to make change. We did not find any resources aimed at females in high school – so we did the next best thing – we formed www.buildgirls.org.

Our goal is to educate, empower, engage and excite young women across the country and globally to explore ACE (architecture, construction and engineering). The goal is to provide exposure to young females through networking events, competitions, internships and more. We need more women in ACE. And we need more as founders, CEOs, and tradespeople. Lets build!

Mackenzie Goldsteen

Co-Founder and Director of Operations

I am a 14 year old female who lives outside of Washington D.C. I love building things and I have always been curious about the application of science and sustainability. The infrastructure world has always fascinated me and it will be a big part of the economy. I try to strive in this world. Everyday we all face struggles whether they are internal or external. We all have them to an extent, but being a woman in infrastructure seems too make those struggles so much harder. 

The world has many obstacles that have made it much harder to succeed. Over COVID, my sisters and I had first hand experience listening to the operational calls of a large infrastructure company, (their staff, what they do, and how they work). We immediately noticed that their team was entirely made up of men. Why? How do we change that? What can we do? These were all the questions my sisters and I asked each other when we learned about this company. Especially with my interest in architecture, construction and engineering (ACE), I wondered how I can change this – after all, good ideas require diversity. After doing some research, we founded our program (www.buildgirls.org) to help young, talented, curious women get more involved in infrastructure. Through workshops, speakers, and internships you can participate and learn about ACE and experience it first hand.

Emerson Goldsteen

Co-Founder and Director of Social Media

I am a 12 year old female who lives in Maryland. I love science, math and technology. I think the infrastructure industry is going to be filled with robots and tech over the next decade. Construction will be electronic, environmentally smart and automated. I think it will be amazing. Women should play a big role in this change. Today, I have learned that women are simply not very involved in infrastructure – one day soon they will. My sisters and I are going to change this industry.   I  believe in equality and diversity.  With this team, I plan to lead buildgirls.org to great things over the next few years.