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Celebrating Women in Construction Week 2020 Paving New Roads to Construction

Updated: Jan 16


Equinox female team members pose during a site walk at Loma Linda University Medical Center

The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), founded in 1953, established the annual Women in Construction Week (WIC) to "highlight women as a viable component of the construction industry. WIC Week also provides an occasion for NAWIC’s thousands of members across the country to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry and to emphasize the growing role of women in the industry."


Interested in becoming a woman in construction or know someone who is? Women have a growing impact on the construction industry! There are many opportunities, either in the field or in the office, for women to work and succeed. Enjoy the following thoughts and insights from Equinox team members and partners on being a woman in construction.



Michelle Malone, Chief Executive of Construction California Northstate University Q: What drew you to the construction industry? A: I am the daughter of a contractor that built hospitals for over 60 years. As a kid, I went to work with him and later worked for him. While I was in college, my dad encouraged me to interview at a local hospital for a position in the facilities department. When I got there, they realized my experience with construction and placed me in those types of work efforts almost immediately. At the age of 25 , I served as the owner, managing the construction of a 100 bed patient tower, central Plant, and additional Open heart  building and service line. I am the only female and hospital resource to have served as a State Chair for the Hospital Building Safety Board, Advisory and Appeals Board for OSHPD FDD.
Q: What is your favorite thing about the industry? A: Every day is something new. I am never not surprised. I prefer complex hospital construction projects and pride myself in seeing it through and finishing the job. Q: What would you say is a great first step for women looking to get into the industry? A: If interested in healthcare construction, start by looking for a healthcare management position. Understanding hospital operations initially is beneficial for building a new hospital. Also, look for a healthcare organization that is actively undergoing or working several small remodels that will afford basic construction experience.
Teal Heath,  Principal, Project Adviser & Project Manager Q: What drew you to the construction industry? A: I had worked for many years as a nurse and in the information technology environment in healthcare, when a new hospital build came along. I was excited about the opportunity to learn something new and be a part of a project that was as meaningful as building a new hospital. I fell in love with it and have stayed close to healthcare construction projects ever since.
Q: What is your favorite thing about the industry? A: I inherently like the nature of projects, there is a definitive start date and end date, and then you get to move to the next something. That was always appealing to me. What is particular to hospital construction is seeing something go from basically dirt to something that will help so many people, and that will be there for decades, long after I am gone. Driving by past projects makes me feel happy that I was lucky enough to be a part of it. Q: What would you say is a great first step for women looking to get into the industry? A: Think big, but its ok to start small. Look for work experience and educational opportunities in healthcare construction management.
Michelle Diaz, Project Administrator Q: What drew you to the construction industry? A: Its a rapidly expanding market that is in need of project managers. Variety of projects from hospitals, offices, homes, etc. Super interested in how a construction idea turns into conception and development. Awesome seeing the changes happen during the construction site on a regular basis, and it's humbling and wonderful being involved in making this idea a reality. Q: What is your favorite thing about the industry? A: Learning all about the architecture, how different departments and functions work together, and are dependent upon each other. Learning about hospital specific requirements.
Q: What would you say is a great first step for women looking to get into the industry? A: Research and learn the industry and apply your skillset to this environment. Show you're capable of learning and adapting in a male-dominated environment.
Kelly LaMar, Project Engineer, Jtec HCM Inc., Q: What drew you to the construction industry? A: Since birth, construction has been all I know. My father recently retired from the industry after 40 plus years, and growing up in a home that my father built with his own hands had molded me to truly respect the industry as a whole. Q: What is your favorite thing about the industry?   A: The fast pace think quick on your feet everyday rush is what I enjoy but really how many professionals in other industries can point at the brand-new hospital in town and say, “I helped build that”? Whether it’s a road, a home, a sewage system, or a school, the things you build matter to the people in your community.
Q: What would you say is a great first step for women looking to get into the industry? A: Pay attention to the individuals who have been in construction for decades. They know their stuff because they’ve been working hard, observing, and learning all along the way. Also, every construction site brings new, interesting challenges making it where things change up with each new project, which leads to avoiding stagnation and burnout.

Two women in PPE at construction site, wrapping up women in construction week! March 1-7, 2020. Background is steel framing, and construction materials.

That is a wrap for Women in Construction Week 2020. #WICWeek #WICWeek2020 #PavingNewRoadsToConstruction


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