In our June and July blogs we focused on what we can do to inspire the next generation of women in construction, this month look at how I’ve have been inspired by the next generation of women.
Young women who have already chosen construction as a career inspire me with their enthusiasm for the industry, when I asked one of my previous mentees why construction? Haley replied: “I chose a career in the construction industry because of the element of excitement that it brings. In this industry, no day is the same as the next and each new project brings its own unique challenges. In addition to that, there is no better feeling than stepping back to look at a completed project and being able to say that you helped to make it actually happen. It is like leaving your mark for generations to come.” It is that optimism that inspires me to stay connected to her as she embarks on what I know will be a very successful career in the industry.
Another young woman I had met at an industry event in 2016, reached out to me earlier this year for some advice. I was impressed, she took a risk, contacting someone she had met briefly in person and had connected with via LinkedIn. We set a time and Krystal came prepared, she had written goals and articulated her long- term vision. I was inspired by her confidence and professionalism and couldn’t help but be proud that she chose me to help her.
And my current college mentee, a young woman entering her senior year in Construction Engineering. We spent this past summer, polishing her resume and LinkedIn profile and discussing negotiating strategies for what I am sure will be many job offers. This summer she embraced the large industrial project she was assigned to and decided to learn all she could about the work, that was inspiring. This curiosity and desire to learn will serve her well throughout her career and I can’t wait to see what happens next for Annie.
And it’s not just the recent graduates or college women. When Constructing Opportunity held a construction day camp in June we were anxious, we wondered; Would high school girls show up every day at 8:00 am? Would they be engaged or would we be embarrassed in front of our host companies? Would they be on their phones all day? Well, they were on-time, participatory and only on their phones to take photos of their experience. And even if they weren’t interested in a career in construction, they jumped in and mixed up concrete, broke test cylinders, made toolboxes and wore their Personal Protective Equipment with pride. It was an excellent reminder of the untapped potential of teenage girls. Our goal was to inspire them to consider construction as a career, and they inspired us to work harder to make next year’s camp bigger and better.
I came away from all of these experience, energized by the next generation of women in construction. I remain convinced that the industry can help mitigate the expected labor shortfall by finding ways to welcome women into all aspects of the industry.
At Constructing Opportunity, we are committed to do our part and we challenge everyone to take the opportunity to experience the industry through the eyes of a young woman, we know you will be inspired!