Women in Construction Week 2023
Many Paths, One Mission
Women in Construction Week (WICW) celebrates and promotes the role of women in the construction industry. The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) held the first WIC Week in 1998, and it has grown and expanded each year since.
This year’s theme, Many Paths, One Mission, celebrates the different journeys women have taken toward the same goal: strengthening and amplifying the success of women in the construction industry. One of the most compelling ways we can encourage women to join the construction industry is by showcasing women’s voices in our industry and giving them the opportunity to mentor future generations through their stories.
To shed light on what it is like to be a woman in construction, respondents were asked questions about their roles and experiences within the industry.
Chelsea Boyer, Apprentice (Plumbing)
Crystal Kerr, Talent Acquisition Area Manager
Sheryl Sills, Billing Administrator
Melissa Smith, Estimating Manager
Martha Wethington, Service Account Manager
Eliza Zapata, Service Apprentice (Electrical)
What skills are necessary in your role?
Chelsea Boyer: Knowing how to bend pipe, set up welding equipment, takeoffs, layout, and problem-solving skills.
Crystal Kerr: Great communication, people skills, listening, and being able to recognize people’s needs and wants heavy multi-tasking, organization, and follow-up.
Sheryl Sills: Good grammar and spelling, and organization. Also, the ability to know what a customer needs.
Melissa Smith: Attention to detail, agility, ability to have a working relationship with diverse groups and levels, & clear effective communication
Martha Wethingon: Understanding each trade to be able to assist the customer to the best of my knowledge.
Eliza Zapata: Critical thinking, measuring, conduit runs, pulling wire, sizing wire, installing new equipment, and general construction knowledge.
What inspired you to join the construction industry?
Melissa Smith: The fast pace and ever-changing environment. I enjoy that every day is a little bit different, with a consistent feel.
Eliza Zapata: It was by accident, but once I was in, the hard work and dedication stirred something inside of me that made me want more.
What advice would you give a woman interested in joining the construction industry?
Chelsea Boyer: It’s not easy right as you get started, but since the trade is more like a family, others are always willing to help each other understand, and it gets better and easier with time.
Crystal Kerr: Don’t be discouraged by not knowing about construction. If you are engaged and willing to learn, a wealth of knowledge is available to you.
Melissa Smith: Do it! It’s been the best decision for my career.
What is the biggest challenge working in the construction industry?
Crystal Kerr: Learning how to be confident in your abilities in a male-driven industry.
Martha Wethingon: Building the trust of customer’s that you know what you’re doing. I navigate this by letting the customer know that I don’t know the answer, but I will get back to them with it. They appreciate the honesty.
What do you enjoy most about working in construction?
Sheryl Sills: The comradery between co-workers.
Melissa Smith: The people! The team and individuals I’m able to work with every day truly make it such a great spot to be. Sometimes, the job is challenging, but the feeling of driving by a building or campus that started with a couple of lines on a white sheet of paper to reality, I’d say, is pretty cool.
Eliza Zapata: I love the hard work and the fulfillment it gives me. There is so much to learn – I’m constantly growing, and the opportunity for advancement is limitless.
At Brandt, we encourage our employees to find the right path for their careers. We are proud to employ women in all areas of the business, ranging from the field, service, and office roles. Find out more information on our Brandt Careers Page.