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Conversations with Women in Construction

We're proud to celebrate women in construction! We asked some of the women in our Federal Contracting Group and Washington DC Office to share why they decided to pursue a career in construction and why more women should join this ever growing industry.


  Chelsea Forman
Colorado State University
5 years in the industry

Why did you choose construction as a profession? I majored in civil engineering, but I decided I didn't want a desk job. Construction seemed like the perfect fit to use my degree and be in the field.

Why would you encourage other women to consider construction as a profession? 
It's so rewarding to see your hard work put in place. At the end of a project, it's such a great feeling to walk through a building that you helped build. It's impossible to not be proud of what you've accomplished.

What challenges or obstacles do you believe prevent Women from choosing construction and why should they not let those deter them? I think the biggest obstacle preventing women from choosing construction is the stereotype that it's all men. That shouldn't deter women from pursuing a career in construction. I want women to feel empowered to be leaders in the industry because there is nothing stopping women from being just as successful as men in construction.
    Favorite Project and Why? My current project, which is a poultry research lab for the USDA in Athens, GA. It's a challenging lab building, but we have a great owner and a great team.


      Michelle Ngo
    North Carolina State University
    4 years in the industry

    Why did you choose construction as a profession? To sharpen my skill set as a better and sustainable builder.

    Why would you encourage other women to consider construction as a profession? Being a women in construction is being in the forefront of what is commonly a homogenous industry. Women in construction ignite diverse thinking, resulting in creative problem solving. It is objectively proven by other corporations and industries that a more diverse workplace correlates directly to a successful business. 

    What challenges or obstacles do you believe prevent Women from choosing construction and why should they not let those deter them? It's intimidating being in a space where you do not look like the norm, but at the end of the day it's about building a great facility. There's no subjectivity to whether a man or woman can lead the construction process.

    Favorite Project and Why? The National Bio-Agro Defense Facility, NBAF in Manhattan, KS, given it's innovative and collaborative nature through technology. The project team created a platform for open and effective communication between the client, general contractor, designers, and subcontractors.


      Melinda Jones
    7 years in the industry

    Why did you choose construction as a profession? It was an exciting opportunity that I could not decline.

    Why would you encourage other women to consider construction as a profession? The construction industry offers women personal growth, advancement, and travel opportunities. This applies to women who are beginning their careers and those who simply want a change.

    What challenges or obstacles do you believe prevent Women from choosing construction and why should they not let those deter them? We as women often create our own obstacles by thinking that this industry is still "A Man's World" and men will not take us seriously. Construction is now more diverse than ever before and women are gaining a much stronger presence. The stigma of where a woman's "place" is has changed dramatically over the last few decades. This new cultural mindset has created more leadership opportunities for women; both now and with the next generation of female leaders.
      Favorite Project and Why? I have worked on two projects for Mortenson; a Secure Government Facility and the FBI Academy Renovation in Quantico, VA. Both projects were full of excitement an growth.