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: Mackenzie K.
Name: Mackenzie Kaser
Company: Shook Construction Co., a construction company that serves clients in 13 states from its offices in Cleveland, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.
Title/Position: Senior Project Engineer
Years Working in Construction: 7 years
How Mackenzie Started in the Construction Industry: “I graduated from the University of Akron with a degree in civil engineering. After completing 3 co-op rotations with Shook alongside my schooling, I knew that the construction industry was the right fit for me. I was lucky enough to work with a project team that taught me a lot right off the bat.”
What Mackenzie Loves Most About Her Job: “The best part about my job is knowing that I helped build something that will have a direct impact on the people in my community. Whether it’s a school or hospital or wastewater treatment plant, all of these structures are necessary for our society and it keeps me motivated to go to work every day. The coolest thing is to be able to drive down the road and see something you helped build.”
What Does It Mean to Mackenzie to Be a Woman in the Construction Industry? “Being a woman in the construction industry means that I get to bring a different experience to the table than a lot of my male peers. I’m able to look at problems differently and approach them from a unique perspective that may otherwise be overlooked. I think bringing diversity into the workplace encourages new ideas and ways of doing things that benefits the project team and companies as a whole. As a female engineer, I think that being successful in a field that is traditionally male-dominated helps encourage other young women to go into construction, engineering, and other careers that may have previously felt intimidating.”
What Career Advice Does Mackenzie Offer to Women Considering a Career in Construction?
Whether you’re interested in construction management or the trades, never let yourself think you CAN’T do something. If something interests you and that’s the career you want to pursue, you are the only barrier stopping yourself from doing so. Regardless of what career field they may be in, find a few female role models and learn from their stories. Take advantage of a co-op program, job shadowing, internships, or apprenticeship program to find what area of construction or design you enjoy and where your skills align best to allow you to have the most success. Don’t be afraid of losing your femininity because you work in construction; if you feel like you have to change your personality in order to fit in with your work culture, then you’re working for the wrong company.
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!