Real Estate

Dream Makers: Deconstructing the gender gap in the construction industry

By Stephanie Meador, posted 2 weeks ago
Leslie Groves has served as Division President of Dream Finders Homes since June of 2022. PHOTO PROVIDED BY LESLIE GROVES

While construction may be a historically male dominated industry, times are certainly changing. Leslie Groves, Division President for Dream Finders Homes in Fayetteville, is leading by example that when you keep your options open there’s no limit to what you can do.
Groves went to work for Ralph and Linda Huff at H&H Homes as a design studio director in 2012 after previously working in public bidding and then in restoration. She played an integral part in helping to get all of H&H Homes’ markets opened.

In 2020, H&H Homes was acquired by Dream Finders Homes. Over the years, Groves was promoted to different roles until she became Division President in June of 2022.
“I never thought that I would be in the position that I’m in. Never. You know, I could see myself somewhere in like middle management because that’s kind of how I came in when I was first offered the position with H&H, but division president was never something that I saw on the horizon for myself,” remarked Groves. “The faith that the upper management had in me and saw in me really gave me the drive to want to prove that they did not make the wrong decision through my career and it paid off for me,” stated Groves.

Groves’ connection to her community and experience helped set her up for success as she prepared to lead bigger picture operations.
“I feel like even though I am a national builder now, that because I’m local to this market and I'm very versed in this market that I still can give this hands on attention while still delivering a corporate product or a corporate expectation.”
Groves is the only woman serving as division president throughout Dream Finders’ 20 markets.
“In other national builders you do see a good bit of female division presidents, but they still are few and far between. And I think it’s

just because construction wasn't something that women as a whole was ever really geared to, or pushed to, years
ago... I will say, for me personally, I felt thankful and grateful and blessed that they were giving me the opportunity, but it did cause me to work really hard to make sure that I didn’t let anybody down,” shared Groves.

Under Groves’ leadership her division closed 434 homes last year. PHOTO PROVIDED BY LESLIE GROVES

In addition to working hard for Dream Finders, Groves works hard for her family too. “It’s just your women in construction are few and far between. So yes, I put in a lot of hours to deliver.
[But also] I’m still a mother, I’m still a wife...” shared Groves. Running a division that closed 434 houses last year while taking care of a family is no easy task. Groves emphasized that the support of her husband was crucial in her ability to juggle her many responsibilities as a working mother both when she was just getting started and now as she navigates her leadership position.

Groves plays to her own strengths sharing that her perspective has given her a new way to view working in the industry.

“I personally feel that women can sometimes see the bigger picture and can sympathize a little more, and that may be looked upon negatively, but I do think that women can sympathize a little more with people’s concerns or issues, and I think that that has played in my favor, over the years,” stated Groves. 

While breaking into a male dominated field as a young woman can seem like a daunting task, Groves offered some advice to young professionals looking to follow a similar path to her own. 
“There’s so many women out there that are kicking tail with the things that they do...So don’t limit yourself, keep your doors [open], your options open. Go for it, don’t settle. Work hard, and I think things will come to fruition for you, and they very much have for me. And the door opened for me when I went to work for Ralph and Linda,” shared Groves.
As Groves nears the two year anniversary of her promotion to division president, she has several goals in mind for herself and her team moving forward.
“This year is the year that I want to dive in, stick to our processes, deliver a better experience for our buyers and [provide] my employees and my team members, as I consider them, an enjoyable place for them to be and to work. So this year is about processes for me and delivering a better experience for our buyers,” stated Groves.
Groves operates under the belief that everyone deserves a pleasant building and buying experience and her intention is to fulfill that with her team.
“I have my hands in just about every small detail. And I don’t think you can improve your processes unless you know the process. So I like to know my department and know a little bit about what each one of them do, because without that you can’t improve. You can’t come in flying 30,000 feet above everybody, you’ve got to be in there with them, working along with them so you can see where you can make things better. So I’m very hands-on with them,” explained Groves.

 

To learn more about Dream Finders Homes and the team Leslie Grovesis helping lead to success, visit www. dreamfindershomes.com/new-homes/
nc/fayetteville/.

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