ROANOKE, Va. – When talking about the construction industry, there’s a common theme: dirt will probably be involved.
“It’s not a beauty contest, so you’re going to get dirty,” said Maggie Moniot, a stormwater inspector for Parker Design Group.
“I was always the kid that played in dirt, and now I get to tell kids that I play in dirt for a living,” added Nadean Carson, who is the stormwater manager at the company.
Moniot and Carson, along with Melissa Lanzara, work at Parker Design Group and are all involved in stormwater inspection. They are just a few of the women in the male-dominated construction industry.
“I value myself as a professional and I’ve earned my respect out here and I see us all as equals and we respect each other that way,” said Lanzara, the senior stormwater inspector/project manager.
The stereotypes of this business only being for men are going away. With women paving the way with their own success stories and plenty of fields to enter into, more women are pursuing jobs in the field.
“I’m super excited now that I’m finding more and more women coming into the field and they’re coming in as laborers and engineers and architects and all these different careers,” added Carson.
Though more women are taking on jobs like these in recent years, there’s still a major gap. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 10.9% of the construction industry is made up of women.
The Associated General Contractors of Virginia view the divide as an opportunity for growth.
“We see that women are thriving in the industry. The data is telling us that there’s a massive untapped well of talent that we should really be targeting with our recruitment efforts,” said Courtney Baker, AGCVA director of workforce and training.
Whether it’s dirt or data, these women will continue to build the future for more to follow suit.
“I don’t feel like we have as big as a hill to climb, to get out here,” explained Moniot.