GroundBreak Carolinas is honored to spotlight Demi Knight Clark, a member of the exclusive group of 2021 GroundBreakers — five individuals who have gone above and beyond to make a difference for the construction community in the Carolinas. Clark is Founder of She Built This City, a Charlotte-based non-profit focused on introducing adult women and young girls (ages 9-17) from diverse backgrounds to the skilled trades.
After 20 years in the construction industry, Clark found herself tired of being the only woman in the room. With that in mind, she launched She Built This City to even the playing field. Her ambitious goal: by 2030, women would represent 50 percent of professionals in the industry. She is a passionate advocate for equal representation at the table in all things – from boardrooms to sports endeavors.
Clark is a self-professed spitfire and energy ball. She is owner of a boutique consulting firm servicing all industries (primarily construction); an avid Wattie Ink Hit Squad Ironman triathlete, mountain climber and marathoner supporting Kathrine Switzer’s #261Fearless movement engaging women in running. After climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and the summits of Iceland in early 2019, she was accepted to Yale School of Management’s Global Executive Leadership Program and said “No more excuses” to starting She Built This City.
She founded She Built This City (SBTC) in 2019 and was off to a fast start, launching a Builder Girls Club and hosting two Women@Work Trade Circle Meetings – serving over 300 women and allies in 2020. Initially, the plan was to launch She Built This City summer camps through the SBTC Builder Girls platform. However, when COVID-19 hit, Clark knew that they had to quickly change direction.
In response to the pandemic, in mid-2020 she championed three amazing pivots to keep She Built This City alive and relevant. First, she launched the Virtual Shop Class (on YouTube) with Generation T of Lowe’s – receiving over 80,000 views to date. Next, she began a 3D printing initiative and printed 17,000 face shields that were distributed to over 40 organizations around the country. Finally, with a new vision for community impact, Clark also decided to purchase an Airstream travel trailer and create a Mobile Tool Lab to take She Built This City programming into the community – with emphasis on those areas hardest hit by COVID-19.
Simultaneously, in June 2020 Clark accepted a full-time offer to be the Charlotte Region Lead of Better.com, as it was important for her to stay connected to the for-profit community as she continues to advocate for women to have equal seats at the table. Knowing she needed someone with experience to lead the growing, young non-profit, she reached out to a friend and colleague, LaToya Faustin and invited her to join the team as Chief Operating Officer. Faustin brings 20 years of non-profit and community development experience to the role.
Eight months later, Clark transitioned to Board President and Faustin assumed the role of Executive Director. Since this full transition in March 2021, She Built This City has added a Director of External Engagement, Operations Manager, Program Coordinator, Curriculum Specialist, Social Media Coordinator, and several instructors.
Clark is available for speaking engagements, frequently serving as an inspiration at Town Hall and team meetings in person and virtually. She is also full of ideas for “different” teambuilding activities related to construction. (Reach out to Clark by clicking here.)
For more information about She Built This City visit the website at ww.shebuiltthiscity.org. There are many ways companies can support what She Built This City is doing, including Corporate Partnerships (various sponsor levels available).
To learn more about the GroundBreaker Awards and this year’s winners read our announcement article of August 11, 2021.