Celebrating the growing role of women in construction

Celebrating the growing role of women in construction

Women in Construction Week is here! While this campaign was originally created to celebrate women in construction, it’s also become a chance to raise awareness of the opportunities available to the growing number of women in the construction industry.

By emphasizing and celebrating the achievements of women in construction, we’ll continue to break down barriers for what has historically been (and still is) a male-dominant workforce.

Bridgit is a company co-founded by two women. We strongly believe that women play a critical role in the construction industry. As such, we wanted to highlight some of the amazing women that we work with from general contractors across North America. We wanted to share what they love about construction and how they see women’s roles evolving in the coming years.

 Karine Beaudoin, Project Coordinator at Broccolini

What is one piece of advice you would give to women making the move into construction?

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and don’t second guess yourself just because you are in a male dominant field.

Tell me three things that you love about the construction industry.

  1. Constant evolution of technologies and building techniques.
  2. Overseeing projects that eventually become a tangible reality.
  3. Being challenged from one project to another, every project has its own challenges.

How do you see the role of women in construction changing in the next 5 years?

More strong women in management and leadership positions. 

Jordie Forkosh, Construction Technology Specialist at Alberici

What is one piece of advice you would give to women making the move into construction?

Find a woman that you look up to professionally in the construction industry, and ask her to be your mentor. When it’s your time, never pass up the opportunity to provide mentorship to another woman in the industry.

Tell me three things that you love about the construction industry.

  1. Every client and project is different, which presents unique challenges to work through and problems to solve. 
  2. Always getting to meet and work with new people. 
  3. Knowing about up and coming projects that are historical in our city.

How do you see the role of women in construction changing in the next 5 years?

Construction has long been a male-dominated industry, but every year I see more and more women moving into management positions or entering trade schools and I do not see that slowing down any time soon. Giving women a seat at the table allows for more diversity both in the boardroom and in the field.

Despina Giouzelis, Project Coordinator at Broccolini

What is one piece of advice you would give to women making the move into construction?

Don’t be afraid to speak up. I know men are louder and seem more confident in what they’re saying than you do… but if you know you’re right – you probably are.

Tell me three things that you love about the construction industry.

  1. The array of characters you meet from little subtrades to big clients.
  2. The constantly changing technology integrated in buildings to make the buildings more healthy for the humans occupying it.
  3. The sense of pride you get when you finish a project and drive by it later on.

I see more and more women joining the construction industry. Women getting more confident, climbing the ladder, and landing big director roles. That last one might take 10 years, but it’s coming.

Jamie Miller, Director of Engineering Development at Sellen Construction

What is one piece of advice you would give to women making the move into construction?

Keep yourself open to any and all learning opportunities. This is a huge industry with a lot to offer and you never know where a new learning opportunity could lead you.

3 things I love about the construction industry.

  1. Constant change – every day is a different, new adventure.
  2. There is always something new to learn or experience. After 20+ years, I still learn something new everyday!
  3. There is something tangible at the end of the day that you can point to and say, “we did that!” 

How do you see the role of women in construction changing in the next 5 years?

I think we will see more women in the executive levels of the construction industry and not just in the traditional roles that women have been allowed to play in. Our younger workers are demanding better representation at our leadership levels and with more and more women entering the industry over the last 20 years, I think we’ll see their dedication pay off with more C-suite diversity.

Sara Murph, Chief Financial Officer at Parrish Construction Group

What is one piece of advice you would give to women making the move into construction?

My advice would be the same regardless of industry: be confident! The business world needs the diversity of thought and experience that women provide. Be confident in your knowledge and your ability to make your organization better by being an engaged team member, confidently expressing your ideas, and participating. Also, if you have the opportunity: find a mentor. Advice from someone who has already walked the path you are traveling is invaluable. Don’t be afraid to blaze your own trail either!

 3 things I love about the construction industry. 

  1. I love that this is a dynamic industry. Every single day at the office is different. There are always new and exciting challenges to work through whether it’s new projects to build or new technology to learn!
  2. We literally change the world. Construction projects enhance communities for generations. Whether it be a new home or new hospital, lives are changed from employment provided during the initial build to the use of the finished product. It is so exciting to work on something so tangible. From initial estimating through to sending your kids to school in a project our company built… there is nothing like it!
  3. The third thing I love about our industry is the sense of community. Considering there are so many different parties coming together to achieve the same goal, construction is very team oriented. You must be able to work seamlessly with your project architect and all of the different tradesmen and subcontractors in order to have a successful product for your Owner.

How do you see the role of women in construction changing in the next 5 years?

I have been in construction for 6 years now. Reflecting on the time I have been with my company, we have seen an increase of women in our operations department with the addition of women in Project Management and Preconstruction roles. Several of these women were like me and did not have a background in construction. However, they have an incredible work ethic and have made a huge impact in the short time they have been in their new roles. I am so encouraged and excited about the reception they have received from their peers inside and outside of our organization. I hope that we will see more women view the construction industry as an exciting career opportunity and that they will come help shape the future.

Catherine Wasilkowski, Project Manager at Broccolini

What is one piece of advice you would give to women making the move into construction?

Be yourself and be proud to be a woman in a man’s world!

Tell me three things that you love about the construction industry.

  1. There are so many types of building and products, that you learn something new every day. 
  2. You are always working in teams and collaborating with new people.
  3. Our day is never the same, as we adapt to new situations as they arrive.

How do you see the role of women in construction changing in the next 5 years?

More women will be leading projects and changing the way they are accomplished.