The following blog post was written by Grace Johnson, Safety Advisor at MAREK's Houston location.
I was recently given the opportunity by MAREK, along with one of our Field Foreman, Jaime Ramos to participate on a discussion panel hosted by the AGC Houston. The panel consisted of 6 individuals both male and female, discussing the obstacles women face in the construction industry and how we (individually and as an industry) can move forward to co-exist and create a better future. Almost 100 people attended this event, and we were able to openly communicate our perspective and views regarding this issue.
As a woman in the industry, one of my biggest challenges is the assumption that females cannot/should not hold a position of leadership in a male dominated industry. I’ve had to break the barrier by standing strong, growing a thick skin and learning to stand up for myself. The reality of the situation is comments are going to be made and it’s up to us to stand up for ourselves and prove those that don’t think we can, wrong.
The need for females in construction is growing every day and so is the need to overcome the obstacles that we face. We need to know and understand that we have value and bring a different perspective to the project that can help transform the industry.
Companies need to ask themselves:
What do we need to do to appeal to more women that are considering entering construction?
At MAREK we do our best to make everyone aware of the resources available and a fellow female mentor that can lead them through their journey.
MAREK is a big supporter of the process and it shows. MAREK has employed many females in leadership roles, both in and out of the field. In the field we currently have one female Superintendent, two female Safety Advisors, three female Foremen and two more women who are up and coming foremen. We also have over 100 skilled female workers employed to work in the field alongside their male counterparts.
My main advice to those women considering a career in construction is to stay strong, and let the obstacles you encounter be the jumping board to propel yourself forward.