Press Release: 09.17.2020

McCarthy Deploys Women’s Safety Harness Program

women construction workers adjusting their harnesses

A recipient of the women’s safety harness grant from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and Autodesk, McCarthy is piloting a new women’s safety harness design across its Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta-area project sites. The safety harness grant was created by AGC with Autodesk to help meet the need for properly fitting personal protective equipment (PPE) for women working in the construction industry, and to encourage more participation by women in the industry.

McCarthy was selected as one of the recipients of the safety harness grant because of its commitment to safety and to continuing to develop and grow the construction industry labor force. The construction company has distributed harnesses to 27 women workers who work at various jobsites.

“As a company that self-performs concrete and other common trades on our projects, McCarthy realizes the need to be intentional about recruiting and developing talent from across our jobsites and in the communities where we work,” said McCarthy Southern Region President Joe Jouvenal. “Outfitting our female workers with PPE that is made specifically for them not only keeps them safer at work, but also complements our efforts to provide an inclusive environment where all of our workers feel like we’re here to help them be successful.”

women construction workers

The women who received harnesses agreed that this is a very positive step toward being more inclusive in an industry that is still mostly male-dominated.

“Having equipment specifically made for women is excellent and should be the standard for the construction industry,” said Ana Popp, McCarthy senior project engineer in Atlanta. “If equipment and gear doesn’t fit correctly, then it will not function correctly. Being safe at work means having access to the correct equipment for everyone at all times.”

“I think that receiving equipment and gear specifically made for women is definitely a game-changer,” said Liz Roach, McCarthy senior project engineer. “Receiving equipment that actually fits, instead of just ‘making it work’ with gear that was made for totally different body types and heights, is such a good feeling. It makes you feel included and important to the industry, which we are!”

women construction workers at a jobsite

The harness is very lightweight, easy to adjust, comfortable to wear, and the design of the fit is specific to women.  

“The importance of accommodating the unique safety needs of women cannot be understated and the large number of grant applications reflects an industry recognizing the value of women’s contributions to the industry,” said Allison Masci, manager of the grant program on behalf of Autodesk. “We applaud McCarthy for taking a leading role in creating a safer work environment for women, which we believe will encourage more women to join the workforce.”

About McCarthy

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that span all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-add technology to maximize outcomes. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 9th largest domestic builder (Engineering News-Record, May 2020). With approximately 5,000 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis, Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.


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