It’s Women in Construction Week, and I was asked to write about my experience as a woman in a male dominated field, which I thought would be easy enough, right? I mean, the people I work with are predominately male in the construction industry, which makes me a “woman in construction.” But, as I sit here and think of the challenges I’ve faced and the obstacles I’ve had to overcome, I realize that my gender never played a role.
Colorado Springs Utilities has a pretty diverse workforce, so I’ve never felt I had to overcome any bias to gain respect. If you do your job well, and always try to make decisions with the “right thing to do” as your compass, the rest just falls into place.
My relationships with the people I work with outside the organization have a little different dynamic. Part of my job is to enforce penalties when laws and requirements regarding excavation have been violated, so not everyone is looking forward to my call. But again, any challenges I’ve experienced in this role have been job related, not gender related.
Maybe it’s because I don’t ever think about it as a “thing”. Maybe it’s because those barriers have already been breached by so many amazing women before me, that it’s just not that big of a deal. Whatever it is, I’m grateful the world I live in is full of opportunities for whoever is willing to work for them, and grateful I can tell my daughters the same thing I tell my son when they ask what they should do for a living; “Anything you want.”