In appreciation of International Women’s Day, we thought it’d be interesting to cover the advancement of female representation in the construction industry. Through some inspiring stories of women advocating power in their actions, a compelling example is set.
Katie Coulson, Skanska USA Vice President
From both an office and field perspective, Coulson has experienced being a minority in a male-dominated industry. She mentions in a recent Construction Dive article that there wasn’t an immediate recognition of credibility when she walked into meetings, as was often present with male counterparts. This was soon earned after the results she provided to some pretty complex projects. She emphasizes, “I think that, as society changes, some challenges that were typically more female-centric issues are becoming male and female issues,” she said. “A lot of people ask me how I manage things like having a demanding job and a family because that [issue] is across the board.” She’s been aware of the importance of this balance and has championed the control of this equilibrium in a way that now allows her to mentor others approaching the same crossroads—male and female. After 18 years of rising through the ranks of Skanska, a world leading project development and construction group, she continues to play a significant role in the company’s success and continues to gives back through mentorship.
Aimee Boehm, Controller, JH Greene & Son, Inc.
At JH Greene, the name Aimee comes synonymous with Super Woman. Before JH Greene, Aimee managed her own construction company, understanding both residential and commercial in her roots. On a typical project, Aimee performs the work of at least 5 people with more efficiency than some of the most seasoned teams. One of the ways Aimee rises above the status quo is through her understanding that a growing industry necessitates growing and evolving tools. A satisfaction with “what’s always worked” is far from Aimee’s ideal—and that’s a large part of the success that’s been defined naturally for her. Breaking the barrier of what once would be considered a “man’s role” has become a daily occurrence for Aimee. It’s exciting to imagine what lengths she will advance the JH Greene team to next.
Tamara Rivera, Council Representative, NYC District Council of Carpenters
Rivera was the first woman council rep in a 20,000-member union following a 24-year tenure as a carpenter. She’s used her efforts to not only advance herself, but she’s also kept others in mind through her accomplishments. Rivera’s goal is to create equal opportunities for anyone who wishes to succeed in the construction industry. She’s also active in the Sisters in the Brotherhood organization, which aims to keep morale strong among those who seek construction as a career.
As these women, among others, continue to pave a new industry for all to thrive, it’s important to support these examples by embracing diversity in each project we take on.