I love working with women! Although the simplest explanation would be because I am a woman, it doesn’t stop there. Women in construction and facility management are leading day in and day out through performance, continuing education, their ability to excel at managing the intricacies of projects, and personalities staffing those projects. They can ask tough questions, build relationships, set expectations, and see them through the execution. They have a lot more at stake and a lot to prove.
When I first started in this industry 15 years ago a woman in the field of construction was something like an unknown, exotic creature. Today, the demographics of a typical commercial facility and property managers are quickly changing. In the industry dominated traditionally by men in their 40s, there are women at the helm, and they excel in these jobs. That being said, women in the construction and facility management field have gone through a tough “initiation.” Most women in this field will tell you that their biggest challenge is to find colleagues and construction service vendors that respect them for their knowledge and capabilities and accept them as equal counterparts.
We, the professional women in the construction industry, need to empower the change in the attitude of our workforce. We must educate every one of our employees, from office to field, to understand that the ‘boys club’ mentality of the construction industry is no longer a viable or accepted view of our field. Women in construction are some of the brightest and boldest professional women in the workforce and we should be proud to work for them and with them!
Leyla Salehli, Principal, Horgan General Contractor Inc.