Women in Construction: How I Got Started in the Industry

Mar 7, 2019 | Insights, People

By Hoar Construction Employees

Our people are our greatest asset, so we put a lot of effort into recruiting employees with diverse experience, talents, and backgrounds. Twenty-one percent of our employees are women, compared to the industry average of just nine percent. We’re proud of that, but we are actively working to inspire more women to pursue a career with Hoar Construction. We asked some of the women from different departments in our company to share their story of what led them to work in our industry.

Amanda Smith, Project Safety Manager

“I’ve wanted to work in construction since I was a little girl. My dad is a superintendent at Hoar Construction, so I was born into this industry. I started working as a laborer fresh out of high school and worked my way up into my current role as Project Safety Manager. On my current project, I’ll have the opportunity to transition into the Assistant Superintendent position once we begin shell work.”

Kimberly Howe, Assistant Preconstruction Manager

“I was studying civil engineering at the University of Alabama and was open to any co-op opportunities. One of the companies I interviewed with was Hoar Construction. After my first rotation, I knew construction was the right industry for me and I started working with Hoar Construction full time after graduation.”

Sam Tomlin, Senior Superintendent

“As a Marine, my background prepared me for a career in a male-dominated industry. At the time I served in the Marine Corps, it was about two percent women. And when I started out in construction, I don’t think I saw another female on my job site for the first five or six years. It excites me to see more and more women pursuing a career in construction, especially those going into supervisory roles.”

Amye Carle, Director of Risk Management

“After college, I embarked on a 10-year career as a professional in the legal field providing litigation and technology support for two outstanding law firms. The legal experience helped me springboard my carrier in risk management. Relationships I grew during my legal career enabled me the opportunity to join the risk management team at BE&K in 2007, before continuing my career at Hoar Construction. My job is never boring. Working in construction risk is all about problem solving. Every day you’re tackling something different and trying to find a solution fast and efficiently.”

Jessenia Arroyave, Project Engineer

“I actually got into construction by chance. I started out in safety — someone offered me a job because they knew I was bilingual, and they really needed to fill the position. I liked working in construction so much I went back to school for construction management and pursued a career in the industry.”

Katelyn Mann, Marketing Coordinator

“I definitely didn’t see myself working in construction. A marketing internship at Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Houston was my first introduction to the industry. When a full-time marketing position opened at Hoar Construction, I was familiar with the company and its project experience, so I applied for the job. I’ve been here four years now. I love being a part of the project team — from writing the RFP, to the kickoff meeting, to topping out, and project completion.”

Jennifer Wright, Vice President of Human Resources

“I never dreamt I’d be in construction, but I’m so glad I didn’t miss out. My dream was to be a retail buyer so when I graduated from college, that is exactly the path I pursued.  A few years into my new career, I realized that my dream of buying was not for me. I have always believed in having a mentor and I am thankful that my friend and mentor guided me to seek out a human resources management position.  I immediately fell in love with how HR drives the people strategy within a business.

I worked in different HR roles for many years when an opportunity came up at Hoar Construction in 2013. I knew nothing about the construction industry, but I knew HR and I knew I could impact the people strategy at Hoar.  I instantly connected with the people here; I love their passion to change the industry and impact the communities in which they work.  They work hard and they care!

At Hoar, our workforce is one of our most valuable tools.  The success of our projects relies heavily on the skills of the team and the leaders who manage that project for our clients.  One of the biggest HR challenges we face in the industry and here at Hoar Construction is and will continue to be attracting and retaining top talent to keep up with the growth and innovation of the industry. Providing development and leadership opportunities for our people as they grow their careers and recruiting diverse talent will allow us to be strategic in this challenge.

The industry is behind in attracting a diverse workforce but there is a focus among leaders to change that — and that’s exciting. As we take this week to focus and celebrate women in construction, I sit here and think about my personal experience and what huge opportunities there are for women from all different career paths in this industry. My role is not what you would consider a “traditional construction” role, but as I work side by side with our executive team driving our strategic people initiatives, I see the huge impact that HR has on our business and in leading the industry.

I’m proud to be part of the Hoar Construction family and this industry!  And as you can tell from the stories our employees shared this week as we highlighted some of our talented women at Hoar, you don’t always have to have an extensive background in construction to pursue a career in this industry. You just have to want to work with a group of passionate people who take pride in what they do.”

Visit our Careers page to learn more about joining the Hoar Construction team.

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