Since childhood, I have gravitated towards construction sites; however, I did not always know where I would fit into the industry. After exploring the more commonly known disciplines in the industry, I settled for a career in civil engineering. While in school, I learned about land surveying and mapping and fell in love with the profession.  

In this ever-changing world, we must stay current with new technology because it makes our work a lot more efficient and opens up a whole new world of possibilities and capabilities. Our responsibility lies in understanding the best and most efficient tools to use and the level of precision required for the job. This ensures that the quality of the product is maintained or improved with the utilization of new technology. 

In the beginning of my career, as a young, inexperienced female in the industry, just getting an interview was a challenge. More than once, I was denied the opportunity to be a crew chief on a construction site, the only reason being that I was a woman. The implication was that I could not possibly do a good job. It was only out of necessity that I was finally allowed to give it a shot to show what I could do. Sometimes, that is all we need: one chance to show what we can bring to the table. 

As female leaders in the industry, I believe our focus should not be to prove that we can do a better job than our male counterparts but that we can be a valuable addition to any team to complement it and bring a unique skill set.  

Do not let anyone convince you that being a female in this industry is a handicap. Do not be afraid to express yourself and voice your opinion. Pave the way for future generations of women wanting to follow their dreams. Be true to yourself and your work ethic. Make time for the people you care about; it's not all about work.

One of the best projects I worked on was called "Mar sin Barreras" (Sea without Barriers), one of my first jobs as a field surveyor doing construction layouts. The project's objective was to provide access to beach activities for people who use wheelchairs or have mobility challenges. It was a very rewarding experience to see it come together from the beginning and even more rewarding to see the community enjoying what was once impossible.

Building Enclosure Celebrates International Women's Day

Part 1 of a 2 part series

Main Article

Kimberly Hellekson Rebecca Thomas Kimberly Hellekson Kim McDonald Janice Sanada Ashley Goldberg Marivette Rodriguez Gayle DeBruyn Alana (Konefal) Lovegren Anna Dockery Stephanie Oestreich Sara Karim