Women in Construction
2023’s Top 10 Under 40: Carly Holmstead, Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
December 8, 2023 By Elizabeth Bate
When Carly Holmstead was referred to her role at the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA) she knew almost nothing about the aggregate industry. Working in the non-profit sector, Holmstead had gained communications experience working for a women’s shelter. Now, a year later, she says she can’t imagine a better industry to work in.
“Everybody is so welcoming, and so eager to help you learn and grow in the role, and just in the industry and know and understand the nuances of everything. The last year has been really fun.”
One would think Holmstead’s role of promoting the industry and Ontario’s aggregate producers would mean a lot of time behind a desk, but she enjoys taking a more hands-on approach to her position.
“My favorite part of the job is just getting out and being in the pit or the quarry or in a rehabilitative area, and just seeing the process happening,” she said. “Working for the association, you get such a high-level breakdown of how things operate, but then when you’re actually standing there and seeing how things are going it’s so incredible.”
Holmstead’s role recently has included work on studies about a growing topic in the industry — rehabilitation. It’s an area she says deserves a bigger focus.
“It’s not a topic that’s talked about enough. When I’m driving down the road and thinking, ‘that was that a rehab site’ – you don’t even know because it blends in so well. I just find that to be such a fascinating part of the industry,” she said.
Another passion project for Holmstead is promoting the industry to young workers, specifically young women.
Holmstead is working to bring more ideas to the table to help women, including the possibility of creating working groups to support women in the industry, and creating more available resources for women facing specific issues.
“There isn’t a lot of resources for women in aggregates. While the numbers of women in the industry is growing, it’s not growing as rapidly as it probably could or should,” she said.
In addition to working for more resources and equity for underrepresented groups, Holmstead takes her role promoting the industry seriously.
“I want the community to understand that aggregate isn’t necessarily harming you or doing as much damage as they believe that it is doing and trying to push the message that we care about the environment and we care about what happens to it after aggregate is extracted,” she said. “I’m really pushing to hit a younger demographic, which has been pretty successful in the last few months, which is really awesome.”
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