Women in Construction Week Feature: Gabryelle
The focus of Women in Construction (WIC) Week is to highlight women as a viable component of the construction industry. This is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry, and to emphasize the growing role of women. For this week, and the coming weeks ahead, we want to highlight women at Clark. We interviewed Gabryelle Giddens, a Project Engineer, to get her take on the industry.
What do you love about the construction industry?
“What I love about the construction industry is the ability to watch a transformation. You can see a piece of land go from a vacant to a 5-story hotel within two years. A school’s athletic field be transformed from old to new in a matter of months. There are so many projects, and opportunities for you to grow and learn within this industry. You can learn technical skills, knowledge of things you would never considered before.”
Advice you would give other women entering our field?
“Some advice I would give is do not be afraid to be the “only woman” in the field. Take ownership in who you are and the minority status that you are in. Do not allow the title of being a woman in construction deter you away from learning and gaining the experience. You may learn to love construction and all that it offers. Ask questions, because most of the time you are not the only one who does not know the answer. Be strong, intelligent, poise, everything that a woman embodies and more & do not be afraid to get your hands a little dirty. Of course, when and if things may seem to be different than what you are used to, a natural reaction may be to revert and become close off in a shell. There is always someone to talk to, so reach out to other women in the industry to guide you.”
Your favorite project to date and why?
“My favorite project to date would have to be working for Beaumont Troy Hospital on the renovation of their entrance vestibules. I was able to be hands on when learning from the trade contractors and working directly with the owners to bring to life an entry way that they envisioned. I gained knowledge from my superintendent on the job, who put me in a leadership position when it came to the oversight of this work. Although this was one of the smaller projects I have worked on, I was able to see a system that was inefficient, and watch it become 10 times better.”
What are your hobbies or what do you like to do in your spare time?
“In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my growing family. I love having game nights, because they are always filled with love, laughter and most importantly food! Aside from playing with my nieces and nephew, I do enjoy going out with friends. I love to go to the movies, cook dishes for family & friends, and play softball in the spring. Drawing cartoon characters is another passion of mine that allows me to express myself, and take a break from things around me.”