I have recently noticed a rapidly growing amount of women interested and currently enrolled in our Construction Management Degree. I would like to hear your reason for wanting to enter into this field, what interests you most about it, and if someone influenced this decision. What advice would you give to other women, who may be interested in entering into the world of construction?
My interest in the trade sparked several years ago when I worked for a building contractor. At the time, I had recently graduated from a 3-year Accounting program, so I worked in the office, and at times I also worked on site - staining for the most part. Having the opportunity to watch buildings (and other structures) be built from the ground up, I was fascinated by the entire process. I started by asking my employer questions about how he got started in the industry, and about his educational background. I became comfortable working with hand tools and hand-held power tools. My first project was building an island for my kitchen... we all have to start somewhere :-)
After my husband and I married, we went into business together. We own and operate a painting business, offering 'finish' type services such as painting and trim.
Last year, in 2009, I enrolled in the Professional Carpentry career program at Ashworth. At that time, the decision was made more out of self-interest than as a professional goal. After completing the course, however, I decided to enroll in the Construction Management Associate Degree program. My goal is to obtain more knowledge of the construction industry and gain the management skills necessary to grow our business in terms of the services we offer our customers.
What's my advise to others? Don't be afraid to ask questions, get involved, and education is key. I feel that bringing education into the field can only benefit the industry as a whole.
Thanks for sharing Bonnie! Do you ever feel you face challenges as being a woman in this industry? I worked as the Marketing Director for a tree company, and gain a great deal of respect for the men that wake up at 5 am to climb dangerous trees in 20-100 degree weather, everyday. You are so right, asking questions will really help you gain a wealth of knowledge in any industry. Great post!
Hi Danny. Well I suppose it's not so much a challenge as much as a disappointment when some folks mistake my position in the company as 'working for my husband' as opposed to an owner of the partership. It's times like those that remind me of the stereotypical views out there. It's so ironic when I encounter this from other women, though.
I work in the road construction industry and I am working in the so called "man's world" but I love it and enjoy it. I started as a laborer and am currently assisting my p.m. I am enrolled in the construction management assc. program and am enjoying it. Learn something new everyday. Never be afraid to ask questions.
im a guy who has his own business and just wanted to offer a little encouragement. ive worked with women,had women work for me, and my two biggest contrators,renovating apartment buildings into condos(before the crash),were woman project managers who knew what they were doing and were great at it,there accomplishments speak for themselves,i had alot of respect for them and enjoyed sub contracting under them.theres always those that will stereotype others,whether its gender,race,or religion,i dont think anyones totally free from prejudice,its how you react to it,it only effects you if you allow it,dont let it bother you and keep up the good work,your dreams and accomplishments are yours and nothing can take that away,from any of us
I just finished today, the Small Business Management Career Diploma program and will soon start the Construction Management program.
My father used to own his own business remodeling modular homes and office units. I used to help him all the time as a teenager and used to help my mother take care of his paperwork in the office.
18 years ago I had a job working with a family owned HVAC and general contracting business and really enjoyed it but didn't want to work on the residential side. I eventually went to work for an electrical contractor as a secretary, worked onsite at the National Grounds Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, VA for almost 2 years and was promoted to assistant project manager while there. I attended 2 years of electrical apprenticeship school, the first year was 3rd in the class, the second year was 5th in the class and the only woman amongst 25 men.
I had one of the best project managers ever for my boss, he taught me a lot of things and was impressed with my desire to keep learning. As I worked my way up, the men I worked with saw that I was serious about my job and I earned their respect working in a man's world. It gives me great satisfaction to drive around Charlottesville, Richmond, Fairfax, Williamsburg, and Fredericksburg, VA and be able to point out buildings that were projects that I was a part of. I left the construction industry to work in telecommunications for almost 6 years, I did not get the same enjoyment and satisfaction at the end of the day as I did while working in construction.
6 months ago I was recruited to work for a general contractor/construction management firm that does nothing but renovate/rehab apartment complexes. I worked both in the office, traveled to different states, and worked on-site for up to 6 weeks at a time and loved it. Unfortunately, the economy caused them to cut back on their employees and I was just layed off a couple weeks ago.
I know that I will land another great position and it's my goal to ultimately become a project manager. I am very excited to be starting the construction managment degree program, I am also looking forward to completing and graduating and walking the stage to receive my diploma!!
very cool more power to ya.as a man in the trades ive never had a problem with women on a job site working the field or in management as long as they tow there line but that goes for everybody.looks like you how transient construction can be so so good luck
I originally had no intention of becoming involved in the construction trades. I ended up becoming involved because I chose a program (Certificate of Achievement of Construction Management) that covered all the basis for the coordinator/manager role I wanted. I was exposed to contract law, constructiona administration, technical writing, construction supervision, cost control, code, and estimating. I struggled a bit with the more 'trade oriented' courses in regards to residential construction as it was somethign I was never exposed to before, but in the end I ended up loving the whole program.
I've decided to take the associate degree program via Ashworth to further my knowledge, add to my credentials, and help me to break through the stigma of just being a coordinator, or adminstrator because I am a woman, and hopefully, one day be able to handle the day to day going-on's of a construction site.
I grew up with (15 kids) 5 older brothers...so guess I was the "Tom-Boy" type. Boys hand-me-downs clothes & NO I'm not a lesbian...lol
But anyhow, started out operating a skid steer at 12yo for my father's septic/cistern biz & growing up on a farm...we always had something to fix, repair or build. Got into the Union at 17 1/2 y.o. as a Laborer...then Ironworkers....been working my way up since then. When I became a Superintendent in 2005, I realized that's as far as I'm going to go without an education. Got my HSED in 97 & tryed college in 2000. but having 5 children didnt give me much time to study & work. So for my children, I chosed work!
Now I only have 1 daughter left at home and more time on my hands. Figure its time to start again, since my body aint what it use to be in my 20's & 30's
The one thing I luv about the construction field is the Final Project. To stand back and show my children & grandbabies, that Yes I was part of that!! Its a great honor & pride. From hospitals, water treatment to power plants...met alot of different people & challenges. But I wouldn't change it for the world.
Since construction is the Only thing I really know (except farming)...getting my AS in Construction Management was an easy decision for me to make. Plus, always been alil Rebel, wont take No for an answer nor accept someone telling me that I "can't do it." Love proving people wrong! teehee