Gender Equity at Build Change

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Accelerating social progress and increasing safety for women since 2004.

Build Change is a women-led social innovator that lives and breathes gender equity at all levels and in all aspects of our work.  With women leaders, Board members, engineers, finance experts, coders, and construction trainers, Build Change’s gender stats are groundbreaking and industry-leading.

Women are a force for change in the housing sector.  Build Change shifts power to women so they can better protect themselves and their families when faced with earthquakes and extreme weather, grow their assets and home-based businesses, and lead the march toward resilient housing for all.

We have to think equal from the very start.

Elizabeth Hausler

Dr. Elizabeth Hausler

CEO and Founder, Build Change

Clients. Partners. Leaders.

Women are responsible borrowers and fierce stewards of their family’s safety. Women homeowners represent over 60% of Build Change’s clients.

Women leaders in government, private sector, and civil society are creating change every day in the housing sector, and we collaborate closely with them.

We proudly partner with Colombia’s Ministry of Housing, City, and Territory, which is led by Catalina Velasco.

Build Change is the first woman-led organization to have won the five most prestigious awards and fellowships for social entrepreneurship. 

The Skoll Awards invest in social entrepreneurs and other social innovators who together advance bold and equitable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.


Housing is a Women's Issue.

A safe space.
A safe space.

Resilient housing provides safety in a disaster, helps prevent homelessness, and protects from break-ins and pests.

A financial asset.
A financial asset.

Build Change’s women clients run businesses out of their home, so housing loss can be doubly devastating.

Since retrofitting her home, Oramene Lamarre has been able to resume her sewing business, earning a living and providing for her family again.

A place to raise a family.
A place to raise a family.

“I am very confident that the house is now safe to live in, with my family. Moreover, it looks beautiful and strong.”

Women Are

Fierce Stewards of their Family’s Safety

Women consistently prioritize the safety, security, and wellbeing of their families, often with limited resources to achieve their goals. Build Change helps to ensure full and equal participation in home improvement, strengthening, and rebuilding.

I no longer have to worry about providing a safe shelter to my grandchildren. They are very happy to live in our retrofitted house, which makes me very happy too.

Brinda Timalsina

Homeowner, mother of three and grandmother of two, Bethanchok, Nepal

Women Are

Responsible Borrowers

A microfinance product developed by Build Change in Asia is supporting hundreds of women to access affordable finance and technical assistance to make their homes disaster-resistant.

Watch “The Power of a Housing Investment” to learn more, thanks to the Skoll Foundation and TMC Animation.

Lizzie Collins

Women Are

Structural Engineers

Lizzie Blaisdell Collins, P.E., S.E., LEED AP is Build Change’s Chief of Engineering. Lizzie is an expert on earthquake engineering and one of the world’s foremost authorities on the creation of building codes in emerging markets.

Women Are

Construction Leaders

How can we get more women into the construction sector? One solution: show women already working in construction in an inclusive environment.

Meet role model Raquel Lagramada in our #MarchforWomen campaign, promoting women in the construction sector.

I just want to tell them that gender is not a hindrance to perform what men can do. If we love and enjoy our job, we can definitely do it.

Raquel Lagramada

Senior Build Trainer, Build Change

Women Are

Construction Workers

In Haiti, internships for young women provided an opportunity to train with expert local masons and gain practical construction experience, supporting women to transition from school to the construction workforce.

I feel proud when I'm working among men and I can do everything they can do.

Flortide J. Marie

Haiti Tec student who completed a builder training course with Build Change following the 2010 earthquake

Indonesia women are brickmakers Rusi Saryuni

Women Are


In Indonesia, 65% of Build Change’s brickmaker partners have been women. Through the Bata Jaya Cooperative led by Yayasan BCI, brickmakers improve brick quality and financial management. They also reduce waste and lower CO2 emissions.

I will be able to survive and run this business by myself. I believe women can do what men can do.

Rusi Saryuni

Brickmaking Small Business Owner

Women Are

Business Owners

Nohelia Rosa from Medellin, Colombia, supports her family through work as a beautician, working from the living room of the home she shares with her husband and daughter. Build Change supported Nohelia to strengthen the first floor of her home to withstand earthquakes. She was also able to improve security, light, ventilation, and wall finishes, making her home and work environment safer and more appealing to her customers.

I did not think you put so much love into what you do.

Nohelia Rosa Torres Barrientos

Home business owner, Barrio El Picacho, Medellín, Colombia

Women Are

Policy Changers

Build Change’s Director of Global Advocacy, Monica Schroeder, has spearheaded Build Change’s global advocacy work, including putting resilient housing on the agenda at the UN Conference of Parties (COP), the Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, and as part of the 2023 Y7 summit offering recommendations to leaders on financing resilient human settlements and housing.

Watch Monica leading the discussion on retrofitting existing housing to save embodied carbon, “Going Retro for Net Zero”, at COP27.

Women Are

Groundbreaking Visionaries

Dr. Elizabeth Hausler, Build Change’s CEO and Founder, is an earthquake engineer and bricklayer whose leadership is breaking barriers in male-dominated industries, transforming resilient housing programs around the world, and championing women as engineers, construction workers, decisionmakers, and leaders.

Watch Elizabeth speak at the 2019 UN Observance of International Women’s Day.

Help us shift power into the hands of women.


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