Female-led Cape Town based manufacturer and installer of quality concrete products, Lascocrete, is breaking boundaries in the traditionally male dominated construction industry.

Leveraging 45 years of expertise, its dynamic leader Theresa Lassen, is proud of its track record of delivering solutions during troubling times, purposefully integrating the slogan “Impossible is nothing” in its philosophy and work ethic. This mantra is doubly important for Lassen as she strives to breakdown gender barriers.

Empowering women

Women empowerment is a topic which has generated substantial traction, particularly in traditionally male dominated industries like construction with the aim to change the status quo. Lassen is in the top bracket of women in construction who make up 14% of construction industry professionals and this number will rise with an increasing number of women being open to joining the industry.

Theresa Lassen Lascocrete. Photo: Mark Sampson
Theresa Lassen leader of Lascocrete is striving to breakdown gender barriers. Photo: Mark Sampson

According to recent studies, women comprise only a small 10.3% of the workforce in the construction industry. It must be said a number of these are relatively small companies which struggle under the industry’s gender barriers. The barriers created by a male dominated industry continue to negatively impact women-owned businesses and their participation as they are met with limited access to lines of credit, gender stereotypes and insufficient financial skills training.

“The construction industry has been known for its male dominance in its positions of power. Lascocrete is proud to be a woman owned company with the success of the company alone showing great evidence that the women of this era are resilient and dominant and are able to achieve greatness. As Lascocrete, we pride ourselves in women empowerment. As a company, we only hope that with our positivity around woman owned businesses, it can serve as great encouragement to all the women in our country to speak up and fight for their success,” says Lassen.

Culture of inclusivity and respect

Taking great pride in employee investment to ensure the highest standards are maintained, Lassen has been with Lascocrete for over 10 years and has created a structure which promotes inclusivity; discipline and respect which is constructed towards a common goal, producing quality concrete products and satisfied customers.

Overseeing a team of over 65 men and women, the presumption that a female leader would be soft and easy is far from the truth. Lassen is as tough as any business owner with a firm but fair approach which ensures all employees are treated equally and with respect. Her emphasis is on the importance of listening to input brought forward by the Lascocrete employees and that feedback is invaluable as they structure better training methods and keep relationships healthy.

Theresa Lassen leader of Lascocrete. Photo: Mark Sampson
Theresa Lassen has been with Lascocrete for over 10 years and has created a structure which promotes inclusivity. Photo: Mark Sampso

The enterprise has grown through her vision by introducing Lascokerbs into the industry. They chose to branch into Kerbs which ties in with their growth strategy. The Kerb business falls under the banner: Lascokerbs and this area specialises in the manufacture of concrete kerbs and edging which is supplied to civil contractors, developers and builders.

Under Lassen’s leadership, Lascocrete has managed to stay relevant for over 45 years, and produce the highest quality products and customer relationships. The importance of role models to young South African women cannot be underestimated and the strides taken by women such as Theresa will shape the industry for years to come and will contribute to the progression of women going up the construction industry ladder.