As the economy has recovered from the recent recession, the construction industry, as well as the oil and gas industry, have seen significant comebacks. The growth has created double-digit demand for workers. Although typically thought of as male-dominated industries, women are finding significant employment opportunities in both sectors. Starting my career in the medical field, I would have never thought I’d become a woman in construction, and after 6 years in the business, I’ve learned a great deal from it.
I started out working as an administrative assistant for a division manager, because I had to get my foot in the door and start somewhere. I quickly learned that there are a lot of opportunities for advancement in construction—so when an opening in Human Resources became available, I transferred to that division and absolutely loved it. I enjoyed helping people get started in a career that they wanted to be in. I stayed in HR for the next 5 years. Hiring is quite the process; it takes time to find the most fitting candidate, but I always found it rewarding, especially when Superintendents can see them moving up.
This year, I was offered a position as a project coordinator that I couldn’t pass up. It’s different, as I work directly with the project managers, coordinating project documentation and contract administration. I feel like every day I learn something new and that’s what I enjoy; expanding my knowledge in all fields of construction.
Women are valuable employees in the construction industry. They have the intelligence, determination, resolve and work ethic the industry needs. Whether women are doing labor intensive jobs or leading firms, they are raising the bar and changing the game just as much as their male counterparts. In fact, these women are dispelling myths, diversifying the workforce and creating new opportunities for progress—and I’m proud to be one of them.