- Mar 5, 2019
When I was a little girl, I was mesmerized by building and creating things. At recess I would sit in the sandbox and play with Legos, constructing various towers and structures. Fast-forward to today, and I still have the itch to build things. After graduating college with a degree in Civil Engineering, I went into the construction industry and haven’t looked back. After spending five years as a bridge designer, I still love dam structures. But not being able to build the designs I created on paper led me to look for a new position with a heavy highway construction firm managing construction activities for the new US Route 60 towards Globe, AZ, the widening of State Route 89 towards Sedona, AZ and the Interstate 40 bridges in Flagstaff, AZ.
Three years later, after becoming intrigued by the vertical side of construction, I joined Gilbane’s Arizona office and enjoy the fact that with Gilbane, no two days are the same. Some days are very busy in the field, and other days we are in the office buried with paperwork. My favorite days are the hectic ones, where equipment is running all over the place, all hands are on deck, and everyone’s phone batteries are draining from heavy use.
As a female, I have overcome many of the so-called challenges of being a woman in the construction industry. Standing at 5-’3”, I overcame the intimidation of learning how to operate heavy equipment in the field. Supported by some great superintendents who provided instruction, patience and the push I needed, I can now operate a 360 Excavator and a D9 Dozer and consider it a personal achievement to have learned this skill- to be able to sit in the driver’s seat of these great pieces of machinery.
Mentoring young women towards the construction field has proven to be personally fulfilling: especially young girls in low-income communities regarding job opportunities for women in the transportation field with Transportation YOU and while on the Women’s Transpiration Seminar (WTS) Scholarship Committee, my team and I awarded tens of thousands of dollars every year to accomplished young women during their undergraduate and graduate degree programs that emphasized their education and studies towards transportation.
I hope my career path serves as an inspiration to young girls and women that the construction industry is a place for those with passion, determination and a desire to create, regardless of their gender.