The Women of Construction
I Build America – Ohio is dedicated to celebrating the women of construction! Women are a vital part of our industry, and there are female leaders at all levels of construction work. From foreman to company owners and executives, construction wouldn’t be the industry it is without its female employees. Join us and our partners in celebrating the success of women within your own company and across the nation during National Women in Construction Week 2021.
Meet: Karla McCalla
Name: Karla McCalla
Company: The Cat Rental Store, Ohio CAT: Headquartered in Broadview Heights, Ohio, Ohio Cat is the exclusive, authorized dealer for Cat equipment and engines throughout Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeastern Indiana.
Title/Position: Rental Sales Representative
Karla McCalla is a Rental Sales Representative in the Columbus area for Ohio CAT. She has been a part of the construction industry in outside sales for 15 years now. Prior to working for Ohio CAT, Karla was a mortgage broker for 16 years. As she began to consider making a career change, Karla was inspired by a friend who thought she would be great in outside sales and that she should consider working for her husband’s equipment company. Karla committed to a 60-day trial period to see if she would enjoy it and sure enough, she fell in love with the career right away. Specifically, Karla said she “loves working on the construction sites, talking to the people who need the equipment and figuring out what they’re looking for.” The other aspect that convinced Karla to stick with the construction industry was how “fascinating it was watching a project start with nothing and turn into a hospital, bank, stadium, etc.” With 15 years under her belt, Karla would have to say that the best part about her job is knowing that we are a valued partner with our customers. She is just a phone call away to assist them with any situation or problem and find a solution.
As a woman in the construction industry, Karla has appreciated that ultimately she gets treated the same as the men with which she works. She thinks it is important to not put herself into a “box” as a female in construction. Karla pointed out that when she started there weren’t a lot of women in the industry because of the stigma that the job is dirty and not the right industry for women. Over the years she’s noticed a shift and thinks the stereotype is beginning to fade because it is a great industry to be a part of, especially as a woman. As an advocate for learning a trade, and knowing that not every student is meant to pursue college, Karla has had the chance to speak with young women about what it’s like to be in construction and her biggest point is “not to limit yourself because you’re a woman. There are so many different facets of this business and there are great careers in construction for women.”
Throughout her career, Karla would say that the most memorable moments involve all the people she’s met through the industry. She has developed some incredible friendships and even met her husband through construction! She is proud to be a part of a team, working with “my teammates to find solutions, answer invoice questions, and other issues that can arise.” Every day she learns something new, which she loves about her work. Karla is definitely proud to be a part of the construction industry.
Learn More About Careers in Construction
Begin your career in construction today! Explore educational tools and resources right here on I Build America Ohio’s website. Questions about how to start a career in construction? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started in the right direction.
Follow along all week as we continue to share the message about the important role of women in construction, today and all year long!