Mittie D. Cannon, Ed.D.


A Way Paved by Curiosity

“The construction industry needs women and women need opportunity!” Mittie Denise Cannon, Ed.D.

My unexpected story is one of strength in adversity and the dedication to follow my passion. As a small-town girl growing up in Baxley, Georgia; I was raised on hard-work harvesting sweet potatoes for a place to stay and “all the food I could eat.” It didn’t take me long to realize I wanted a rewarding job full of opportunity so I headed to college to pursue a career in the medical field.

One of my first jobs out of school was supposed to be a stepping stone in order to pay for medical school. However, I soon found myself managing a drug testing lab on a construction site. After a short time working so closely to the construction gate, I noticed that very few women ever crossed that gate. This sparked my curiosity about the industry.

I later married an electrical engineer who understood my interest in the industry. I acquired books that taught me how to perform the basic duties of an electrical engineer’s helper on a job site. Eventually, I convinced my husband to allow me to work as his helper. Accomplishing this task was easier said than done. Part of the agreement with my husband included accepting all responsibility for finding a client who would accept our husband-wife team. It was clear that women were not welcome behind the gates of a typical construction site.

I made call after call to companies advertising a need for craft workers. Each time I received the same response “we’re not hiring.” When I gave my sales pitch to my husband for practice, he confirmed what I already knew: women are not welcome on a construction site. Rather than lose hope, this response fueled my determination. After more practice and persistence, I finally landed a job for us! We were to relocate immediately from Charleston, SC to the jobsite location in Baton Rouge, LA for up to 60 days. That was then … an amazing journey ensued.  I am now the director of Workforce Development for Robins & Morton, one of the top 100 building contractors in America.