This week we celebrate Women in Construction Week (WIC) and the many women who work in and make important contributions to our industry every day! We are pleased to share the stories from many of the women who work and live in NH and VT. The project was created in partnership with I Build NH and NAWIC Granite State Chapter.
I love construction. It is always a changing environment and we get to work with great and talented people. I learn something new in the world of safety every day.
What is your education/training background?
I graduated from high school in 1982 and took some safety related classes at the University of Washington (a great school). After working many years in the general industry in the semiconductor sector, I switched to the construction industry. I've come up through the ranks through the BCSP and have my CHST and SMS certificates.
How did you find yourself working in the construction industry?
I moved from Washington state to South Carolina where my husband was from. It all started by running into a lady in a Walmart line... I was working 3 jobs in my home town at the time and struck up a conversation with a now longtime friend and they were hiring a Safety Professional at a local paper mill. I made the call and was hired a week later. Interesting enough, all my jobs have been obtained through networking.
What do you enjoy most about your career?
I get to have a positive influence with my team members everyday. We build great things through hard work, constant challenges, and a positive safety culture. It’s not always a breeze, but most of the time it is extremely rewarding.
What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
The bridge and infrastructure projects are my favorite. My first bridge project was the demolition of the Grace and Pierman Memorial bridge over Charleston Harbor.
What advice do you have for women who want to work in the construction industry?
This field is not easy. The challenge is real but it is so rewarding. Empower your people, lead by example and listen. It is different for us trying to maintain a work life balance, but at the end of the day worth the sacrifices.
Keep your compassion and empathy for people. Stay humble and remember where we came from.
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association representing nearly 21,000 chapter members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically, profitably and for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. ABC's membership represents all specialties within the U.S. construction industry and is comprised primarily of firms that perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors.
I Build New Hampshire
I Build NH represents the construction sector of the state through the Sector Partnerships Initiative (SPI). I Build NH represents companies involved in heavy construction like municipal water treatment systems and road building, electric and telecommunication infrastructure, civil engineering, heating/ventilation/air conditioning businesses and more.
National Association of Women in Construction
The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) has over 115 chapters throughout the United States, including the NAWIC Granite State Chapter. NAWIC provides its members with opportunities for professional development, education, networking, leadership training, public service and more. NAWIC advocates for the value and impact of women builders, professionals and tradeswomen in all aspects of the construction industry.