Penny Pompei was left seething last year when on a trip to Capitol Hill, she bumped into a male senator. Pompei introduced herself as the executive director of Women Construction Owners & Executives, a trade group that represents women in the construction industry, and attempted to start a conversation when the senator cut her off abruptly.
“He looked at me strangely and said, ‘Wow, women own construction companies? Who knew!’” she remembers. “I was immediately frustrated. I mean, c’mon, it’s 2012.”