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    Align Technologies | Feb 21, 2024

    Advice for Women in Construction: Podcast Special

Are you considering a career in construction but unsure about where to start? Let us introduce you to Annie Wright, a former teacher who found her passion in the construction industry. In our recent Women in Construction podcast episode, Annie shared valuable insights and advice for women looking to break into construction.

Here are a few of our favorite takeaways from the podcast:

  • You don’t need 15 years of experience to make an impact
  • Believe that you belong in the spaces you enter
  • Work for a business that aligns with your values
  • Being an intern is a low-risk way to test out new industries and see if you like it

Save the Women in Construction podcast on Spotify

Tune into Key Moment:

[0:00 - 4:00] Annie Wright’s career journey 
[4:00- 5:45] Jobs in Construction 
[5:45 - 12:40] Advice for women considering construction roles 
[12:40 - End] How to prepare yourself for construction roles

How You Can Start A Career in Construction Like Annie Wright

Annie Wright didn’t imagine that she would be working for a national construction company. She thought she would become the lawyer version of Olivia Benson from the popular NBC show Law and Order SVU.

But that’s not what happened. Wright made many career pitstops before landing her current role. Here is the path she took:

  • Got a degree in political science at the University of Washington
  • Taught high school social studies after joining Teach for America
  • Worked at a prosector’s office in King Country - then realized she was chasing the wrong career
  • Snagged an MBA from Seattle University

Last but not least, in August 2023, she landed a summer sales internship at McKinstry.

Entering into this industry was not part of Wright’s plan. But after a whole summer, McKinstry opened her eyes to the vast opportunities in construction. Now, she is here to stay with a full-time Business Operations Analyst position..

Job Opportunities in Construction

Wright’s time as an intern made her realize that there are many different career paths within construction. Besides skilled labor and trade jobs, she could go into design, operations, sales, and even marketing - the options were endless.

McKinstry allowed Wright to test out different avenues and see where her career took her. By starting as an intern, Wright was able to take the time to find where she belonged - which wasn’t law (like she once thought) but with her construction crew at McKinstry.

“I think being an intern is kind of a low-stakes, low-risk way to get into a company and a new industry and see if you like it.”

As an intern, Wright got to speak with other leaders in the industry and develop key connections that would help build the foundation for her career.

Advice for Women Pursuing a Career in Construction

Like many people in her construction, Annie Wright started from the bottom and worked her way up in her career. Here are a few key pieces of advice she left for other women interested in the industry:

Build Your Own Brand

Wright’s first advice was:

"Build your brand and make it unique to who you are."

This doesn’t mean starting a business or becoming a social media influencer. Instead, it’s about asking yourself two questions and living based on your answers:

  1. How do you want people to see you?
  2. How do you want people to describe you? 

We can’t control how people feel about us. That’s life. But what we can control is how we show up and act in a professional environment.

How do you do this? It’s simple. Let’s say you want people to describe you as reliable. Think about what actions you can take that would reflect that. Here is our list:

  • Show up to work on time
  • Stay true to your word
  • Never underdeliver
  • Communicate effectively
  • Meet deadlines
  • Proactively problem solve
  • Stay respectful
  • Seek feedback from supervisors and implement it

When you apply all these actions at work regularly, you brand yourself as someone your coworkers can trust - someone reliable. Just remember, this isn’t about changing who you are. It’s about living based on who you wish to be.

You Belong in Construction

Wright’s second piece of advice was: 

“I think it's important for women to believe they belong in the spaces they go to or enter.”

When entering a new role or industry, it’s natural to feel a bit of imposter syndrome – the feeling of being a fraud. Most people go through this emotion when entering into a new role. It’s natural.

However, the thoughts of self-doubt that plague your mind during this stage are far from the truth.

Here’s the real truth: you don’t need 15 years of experience to make an impact. You can make an impact as an intern with not an ounce of industry knowledge - your impact might be different, but it’s still an impact.

Wright admits to feeling like an imposter before and insists that she will work on this mindset shift until she retires. She recognizes that most of the people sitting at the head of the table, leading the meeting she sits in today, started as interns.

Everyone starts from the beginning—with zero experience. So be patient, learn every day on the job, and don’t be afraid to take up space.

Tune into the Women in Construction Podcast

women in construction spotify

Welcome to the exciting world of construction innovation with Align Technologies' podcast: Women in Construction. Hosted by VP of Product Janan Guillaume and Platform AE Sam Miller, this podcast explores groundbreaking topics shaping the future of construction.

We will delve into new technologies and the importance of diversity and inclusion. Stories from women in the field, and more. To catch our next episode, add the Women in Construction podcast on Spotify.

Written by: Align Technologies
About Align Technologies

At Align Technologies, we make construction safe, productive, and profitable. As the construction industry's first and most comprehensive operations management platform, Align Technologies’ suite of powerful tools delivers operational visibility and control that drives results. Formed in 2024, Align Technologies is powered by three innovative market leaders: ToolWatch construction management software, Safety Reports mobile safety and compliance, and busybusy time tracking.

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