GroundBreak Carolinas is honored to spotlight Patricia Lucas Smith, a member of the exclusive group of 2020 GroundBreakers — four individuals who are shaping the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry in a variety of ways.
Smith is all about encouraging women to think of the construction industry when considering career options. Smith owned and operated a facilities maintenance and commercial paint contracting business for more than 20 years before founding Raleigh-based Serving 4 Success, a non-profit organization that focuses on growing sustainable opportunities in local communities. Five years ago, Smith started Chix Dig It — Celebrating Women in Construction, an event dedicated to attracting the best and brightest women to the architectural, design and construction field – professional and craft.
“Chix Dig It exists to empower women in all aspects of the construction industry,” says Smith. “We want to inspire young women to keep their options open… to know that they are welcome and needed in the AEC field.”
The program’s signature fundraiser – the Chix Dig It — Celebrating Women in Construction luncheon, provides scholarships to young women who are pursuing a career in AEC. Although Smith had to cancel the 2020 luncheon due to the pandemic, this much anticipated luncheon has traditionally been a June event that has rotated venues around the Triangle region. She expects to be back on schedule in June 2021.
Last year, Smith started a new Chix Dig It luncheon tradition by presenting three special awards to women who have helped pave the way for the next generation of women in the AEC industry: the Trailblazer Award, the Warrior Award, and the Emerging Leader Award.
To date, Chix Dig It has been able to raise and distribute thousands of dollars to institutions of higher learning in North Carolina, and Smith hopes for continued support from the local AEC community.
Smith has plans to introduce Chix Dig It to a South Carolina audience in Spring 2021 with planning already underway for an inaugural Chix Dig It luncheon in the Upstate region.
Visit the Chix Dig It website at www.chixdigit.rocks.