Women In Construction Week is part of the broader Women’s History Month celebration in March. The week, started by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) is an opportunity to highlight the growing role of women in the construction industry.
“NAWIC’s core purpose is ‘enhancing the success of women in the construction industry’ and what better way to continue this purpose, but to dedicate our WIC Week, not only to our members, but to all women working in and for the construction industry and to recognize the contributions women make to the success of projects in all facets of the industry,” said NAWIC President Riki F. Lovejoy, CBT, CIT.
Women represent 47% of the total U.S. workforce and are playing an increasingly significant role in the world of construction. Yet accoding to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and OSHA, only 9% of total construction employees are women.
Given this fact, it’s inspiring to come across women who are thriving in such a traditionally male-dominated industry.
In honor of Women in Construction Week, Gage Brothers wants to highlight some exceptional women who help to make Gage Brothers a stronger and more competitive company. Read on to explore Ann Hill’s experiences in construction/manufacturing and to find out her advice for others looking to take a similar path.
Name: Ann Hill
Job Title: Project Estimator
Q: How long have you been in the construction/manufacturing industry?
A: 20 years in manufacturing and construction.
Q: Why did you choose a non-traditional career field?
A: I took a summer job working for the Nebraska Department of Roads right after high school. I was shock to learn how much I enjoyed it! My father and brothers worked in construction, but before that summer I never saw construction as an option for me.
Q: Have you ever faced any barriers in what is a male-dominated industry?
A: Not really. My overall experience has been very positive. I have never felt being a female is a setback especially at Gage Brothers. There have been a few times where I thought I wasn’t taken seriously and felt that it was because I am a woman, but it fueled me to want to work harder.
Q: What challenges do you see other women in construction facing?
A: I think biggest challenge for women joining the construction industry is exposure. Construction needs to be presented to all of our youth as a viable career opportunity. There are many great reasons to be involved in construction and manufacturing for women and men alike. It can be so much more than just a job.
Q: What is the most satisfying part of your job?
A: Collaborating. I love when a team works together to find solutions and better practices. I also like seeing the final product and knowing I helped make it happen.
Q: What motivates you to keep working so hard at Gage Brothers?
A: I believe in the company and the people who work here. I want to see us all succeed. I really enjoy what I do.
Q: What advice do you have for women who want to work in the construction or manufacturing industry?
A: The industry needs you. Work hard and be yourself. It’s our individuality that gives us strength. Be involved and ask questions. Never stop learning.