Anser recently interviewed one of our Project Managers, Courtney McVay, PE who shares her experience as a Women in Construction in today industry. Women in Construction week is very important to our organization because it helps us to strengthen and amplify the success of women in the construction industry. Anser is proud that one out of three of our employees are female professionals, and we look to increasing these numbers in the future.
Q1: Why do you think it is important for women to be involved in the construction industry?
I think it is important to have women in the construction industry because women can provide a different perspective then men. Having diversity in a workplace is always a plus since we all come from different backgrounds and each have our own talents that we can contribute to the team. Men and women balance each other out, and when one’s strengths can offset the weakness of the other, (and vice versa) the result will often lead to success.
Q2: What do you wish a mentor would have told you when you first began your career in construction management?
I wish I would have known that it was going to take time to find your voice in the construction industry. There is so much to learn in this field that you will never know it all. Every project is different, and each day brings new challenges, but with challenges come an opportunity for growth. When I started my career in construction management, I was a 20-year-old intern on a very large wastewater project with little to no previous construction experience. There was so much I didn’t know, and some days were very overwhelming, however, I continued to show up every day and ask questions. My advice to someone just beginning their career would be to remain patient, learn as much as you can, and realize you are not alone in that everyone had to start somewhere.
Q3: What have you learned from being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field?
I have learned that it is important to have self-confidence and self-respect. There are a lot of big personalities on job sites, and it can easily lead to intimidation or self-doubt. I think this applies to anyone, however, in my experience I have noticed this seems to affect women more often than men. My advice would be to believe in yourself enough to speak up and share your knowledge to help contribute to not only the project, but your personal growth as well.
Q4: What can a company do to support Women in Construction Week and encourage young women to become curious about the construction field?
I think it’s imperative that starting at a young age, girls can picture themselves working in the construction industry. The easiest way to do this is to show by example that it is in fact possible to achieve both career goals and personal goals. With a good work/life balance, you can have both a career and a family.