Last week we had the privilege of attending and participating in the Transportation and Construction Girl event in Denver. This event is put on by Construction Girl to raise awareness of the need for more women in the construction and transportation industries. It is also a wonderful event that allows young women to network and be exposed to the many areas of this amazing industry. OE Construction had a booth where we got to interact with young women from local high schools and those who have graduated and are interested in learning more about career opportunities.
Currently, only 8% of the construction workforce is made up of women which lends itself to amazing opportunities for young women. The good news is there are more women construction business owners than ever before, and we hope to see this continue to trend up.
At the luncheon, we all heard from 3 young women, all under the age of 23, who had advice for other young women wanting to explore the opportunities in construction and transportation. We were all inspired (even those of us way over the age of 23) and felt their advice was not only appropriate for all of us but necessary for us to continue to grow personally and professionally.
Here are the three pieces of advice they shared:
TAKE MORE RISKS
Jay Helmreich is currently a welder and she helped create the beautiful awards that were given out to sponsors and advocates today. Her advice centered around taking more risks. She said there were many times she was afraid to try something new, yet when she put herself out there she saw tremendous growth and doors opened. She said if you risk and things don’t work out…. Just try something else.
Where do you need to take more risks and try new things? We could all use this great advice.
CONNECT WITH EVERYONE YOU CAN
Elena Pocs was the second young lady sharing her wisdom. She told us her mom was an amazing role model showing her strength and independence. Elena told us all that we are to be role models and that there is always someone watching us and possibly, being inspired. She loves the construction industry and said that “making things gives me a sense of pride that doing math problems has never given me.”
Her advice was to connect with everyone you can. Talk to as many people as possible. She reminded us that it’s all about relationships. We couldn’t agree more. That’s one of the reasons we participate in this event. We know that relationships with our vendors, our partners, and our community is critical to our own growth here at OE Construction, as well as critical to our own personal growth. It’s easy to stay “too busy” to reach out and begin building new relationships. What great advice from Elena.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO CAN SUPPORT YOU
Daniela Gonzalez was the third to share her advice with us. She is currently a transportation engineer and member of Engineers Without Borders, putting her skills to work and making a big impact on the world already.
Daniela said to “surround yourself with people who can support you and then do the same for others.” What a powerful and yet, not always easy, piece of advice. She talked about needing to leave behind friends and people who don’t serve her and her goals. How often do we want change in our own lives, but we haven’t counted the cost to determine what we will need to give up in order to have more.
OE Construction chose to participate in this event because we know how important it is to provide education and opportunities to young women exploring our industry, but we also knew going in, that we would be trying something new, we would have the opportunity to build and strengthen relationships, and of course being there at the event we would be surrounding ourselves with people who also support us.
Be sure to check out the many opportunities to participate and support the Construction Girl and Transportation Girl organization.
So now it’s your turn. What advice would you give to the young men and women looking to enter this field? We would love to know. Share your advice in the comments below or jump over to our Facebook page and tell us there. Let’s keep the conversation going.