It's Women in Construction Week! This week is promoted by The National Associate of Women in Construction as a way “to highlight women as a viable component of the construction industry." In celebration of this week we asked some of our women in construction and project management about their careers.
Beth Duyvejonck, Director, Project Management
Why did you choose to work in construction? Once I discovered Construction Engineering at Iowa State, it was a natural fit for my combined interest in architecture and science. From there, a passion for the design-build delivery system brought me to Opus.
What do you like most about your work? Design and construction demand both creativity and technical knowledge; my work is never boring. I also enjoy that the challenge is renewed with each new project.
What is your favorite project? My response to this question is always, "the one I am working on right now." The wide variety of product types and clients keeps my work very interesting.
What is your advice to women considering or beginning a career in construction? Go for it! The construction environment is becoming much more diverse and technology-based. Both accessible and challenging, careers in construction are incredibly rewarding.
What unique strengths do you think women bring to construction? Women can thrive in collaborative environments, and construction projects and project teams are extremely collaborative. Increasing the diversity of our project teams will increase our potential for creativity and ultimately provide for better value to our clients.
Read our profile of Beth to learn more about her career.
Megan Garner, Project Manager
Why did you choose to work in construction? I was exposed to construction early on because my dad has done both architecture and construction project management in his career. There was a point when I was in high school where I made the realization that this was something I could also have success with, and I never looked back.
What do you like most about your work? I like the collaboration required to deliver a successful project, and I love having a tangible result of my hard work.
What is your favorite project? This is a hard question because I have worked on a lot of really great projects, but if I had to choose, it would be the AMC Theatre Support Center in Leawood, Kan. It was the first large project that I was part of, and it had a lot really cool design elements.
What is your advice to women considering or beginning a career in construction? Do not go in with the mindset that women are or should be an anomaly in construction. If the idea of women in construction is normalized, hopefully more women will be attracted to the construction industry. We have a lot to bring to the table!
What unique strengths do you think women bring to construction? Women tend to have a softer approach to situations. While this may seem like a weakness on the surface, I think it is actually a strength. A soft touch is a welcome change in a typically highly masculine environment.