Meet Deborah Arey of Geologic-Earth Exploration, Inc.
Deborah Arey has been running Geologic-Earth Exploration, Inc., a Norfolk, Massachusetts-based drilling company, for the last decade.
The company has operated since 1987, when Arey and her partner went into business together. The company works on many high-profile New England projects with MassDOT, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, National Grid, and others. They’ve been defined, in part, by a keystone project at the Sakonnet River Bridge, a Tiverton, Rhode Island landmark that was also the site of a notable rescue operation involving several Geologic-Earth Exploration employees.
Geologic-Earth Exploration has been a woman-owned company since 2001. The company has experienced incredible growth and success under Deborah Arey’s leadership, which she credits to her diligent, caring workforce.
Placing a major emphasis on safety
Arey’s business earned Highwire’s Gold Safety Award for a virtually unblemished safety record. Indeed, Arey said that over the last 35 years, Geologic-Earth Exploration reported zero injuries, accidents, or lost or damaged equipment on marine projects—a testament to the company’s rigorous safety standards.
“We take safety very seriously. One of our major clients is National Grid, and—for obvious reasons—they are very focused on safety,” Arey said.
Reflections of inclusivity in construction
Ahead of Women in Construction Week, Arey reflected on the state of female representation in construction, noting that while there has been some progress toward greater equality in a largely male-dominated industry, disparities still persist in many trades.
“I have seen more women on the engineering and design side than before, and I work with far more women now than I did 35 years ago,” she said. “But in terms of women in the field, not much has changed. It’s unusual for me to run into another woman who is actually doing the construction work. When you talk about more boots on the ground, women entering the construction field is a very hard barrier to break.”
Of all the aspects of her job, Arey said she finds team-building the most challenging—and, therefore, rewarding—part.
“It’s hard to find good, motivated people to carry the torch forward. It’s probably one of the most challenging parts of being a business owner,” Arey said.
Her advice to young women looking to join the trades is simply to “believe in yourself. And take that self-belief with you regardless of who you’re talking to.”