Why should women consider a career in the A/E/C industry? The A/E/C industry creates the built environment in which we all operate, although the industry is still male dominated. It’s important that our industry reflect the communities that we serve, and women bring a diversity of focus, process, and solutions. It’s also a place where you get to make a difference in the everyday lives of those around us. It’s amazing to see the work that we do each day make positive changes in our world; the profound sense of making an impact is rewarding in a way that can’t compare to other careers.
Starting out in the A/E/C business, who or what empowered you? I graduated from college in 1991 at a difficult time in the A/E/C business. It was definitely an employer’s market. Even though I graduated at the top of my class, I didn’t have any internships and I sent out more than 150 resumes without one callback. My first boss reached out to my college looking specifically for women that she could mentor and my name was the first passed on by a favorite professor. She invested her time in me, mentoring both in technical and management aspects. More importantly, she pushed me forward to interact with clients, shareholders, and the public. She was always there with advice when I needed it, and reveled in my success rather than seeking the spotlight for herself.