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.
How many people can put a shovel in the ground one day and a year or so later have a multimillion-dollar structure built for all to see and admire? We make a tangible difference. We construct infrastructure that our own communities need. We literally build our worlds and keep our country moving.
A career in construction can be a viable path to a good-paying job that does not always involve a four-year degree or the debt that goes with it. Many skills are learned on the job as part of a team. You will be working with some of the most skilled people in their fields who have valuable years of experience to share with you.
You work with people of every walk of life, many of different nationalities and backgrounds. Every day is a new adventure in construction. The pace is fast, and your surroundings are ever-changing.
What is your education/training background?
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineer from UNH. I started out in design and quickly learned a cubicle was not the right place for me. I worked as a Field Engineer doing a lot of building layout and quality control and absolutely loved that period in my life. I learned so much about construction, and my job was really hands-on. I went on to become a Project Superintendent and have built schools, multi-family residential buildings, and municipal projects throughout my career.
How did you find yourself working in the construction industry?
I grew up in a small family construction company and always enjoyed working with my Dad. I always liked to build and figure things out, but most of all, I loved a good challenge. I thought engineering would be a fitting next chapter. I quickly found out I enjoyed being out in the field most of all, working alongside some of the hardest working people I have ever met.
What do you enjoy most about your career?
The fast pace, the organized chaos, and the challenge of meeting a deadline. Digging into the details, helping my team plan construction sequencing, manpower and materials, streamlining quality control and production, and working with truly skilled people in their trades. Ultimately, building a sustainable, functional, beautiful structure that will service its residents for years.
Working on a construction project presents daily challenges, and I love solving problems. Every day is different. My projects last a year or so, and then I get to build something new with a new group of people. I love learning from them, hearing their stories, and I love sharing mine.
What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
This is a hard question as I am passionate about every project. I own each from beginning to end and take great pride in the finish. I have really enjoyed working on several occupied school projects. The phased construction in and around occupied areas adds another layer of challenge, and most of all, I enjoy working with the children. I find great pleasure in their eagerness to learn and watch the building go up, and I genuinely love sharing the experience with them.
What advice do you have for women who want to work in the construction industry?
Work hard and give 110%. Be confident, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Make ten wrong decisions but decide and move forward. Cherish your mistakes, it’s what we call experience. I have learned the most from the hardworking people I work with every day on site. These people are talented men and women in their trades that are genuinely skilled and have valuable lessons to share. Listen to their advice and their stories and learn from them.
Be yourself. Be passionate and driven in your field. Be an open, honest, and active member of your team. In construction, you are only as good as the team you’re working with.
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.