March 07, 2019
WIC Week 2019: Rebecca Howe
NAME: REBECCA HOWE, SR PROJECT MANAGER
CURRENT ROLE: WORKING WITH RM TEAM TO ROLL OUT REGIONAL RISK MANAGERS.
CURRENT LOCATION: EASTERN REGION
YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY: 28
What led you to a career in the construction industry?
I really stumbled into the field. I had been working as an office manager for a physician and relocated to a new area. I responded to an advertisement for an office manager position with a small construction outfit. Once my boots got dirty, there was no turning back. After my kids were in school, I went to college and earned a degree in Construction Management.
What are some of the biggest challenges of being a woman working in construction?
Fortunately, the construction industry has made very positive improvements over the past 28 years, and I am happy to say that the challenges I faced in 1991 are non-issues today.
The biggest challenge I see for women today is a lack of female role models in leadership positions. Further, there are limited numbers of women in the pipeline being developed to grow into these leadership positions. The good news is I believe that this is a challenge that we can overcome; it is our responsibility as women in the construction industry to bring up those behind us. We need to create opportunities to share what a great career field this is with the generations behind us and reach a hand back to bring them along. We have the power to nurture growth in the industry and are our own best advocates and promoters.
What do you love most about your career?
The excitement of being involved in projects that will have positive impact on the lives of others. There is nothing more rewarding than working with a project team to develop and deliver a project that becomes part of the fabric of a community.
What advice would you give a woman starting out in the industry?
It is okay if you do not know the answer. Ask questions, be an active listener, and do your homework. Networking is also very important! Be diligent and nurture relationships from the beginning of your career. Have the courage to go after new roles even if they are out of your comfort zone. Do not lose your identity by trying to become "one of the guys." Your perspective is valid and important! Do what you say and say what you mean. Have a sense of humor; it goes a long way to help break the ice. And finally, there is no crying in construction.