Colorado Public Works Journal, Fall-Winter 2018

Fall/Winter 2018 • 53 Talking with these three, very motivated, young women was inspiring and eye-opening, for a woman who has worked for many years in this industry and who is responsible for hiring. I asked all three of these ladies for their thoughts on taking on a career that hasn’t traditionally been filled by women. The insights they provided were thought provoking. In general, all three young women had these messages about working in construction, transportation, engineering and public works: • Young women need to take every opportunity offered to them, the results may be life changing. • It is possible to do anything you put your mind to, no matter how hard it may seem. • Find a mentor, woman or man, in the industry you want to work in. They will give you guidance and a resource for the future. Build relationships. • Employers need to give women a chance, especially in construc- tion and engineering fields. We are the future and we have so much to give. Forward Thinking Industry Leaders Both Elena and Bella were grateful for the employers that support this program. Transportation & Construction Girl would not be possi- ble without industry support and employers that are ready to mentor and develop young women into future leaders. Contributors like Adams County, RTD, Denver International Airport, Dragados and many other Denver area businesses not only provide funding for the Transportation & Construction Girl programs, but give participants the hands-on opportunities that inspire future careers. It’s these busi- ness leaders that are looking beyond today, and realizing how their business continues to thrive, well into the future, with an investment in the young women who will soon fill the work force. Spending the day with 300 plus young women looking for their paths in life was a great opportunity for me, and it gives me hope for the public works industry. We need to do more to encourage these bright minds to consider a non-traditional career in construction, transportation, engineering, and public works. Programs like Trans- portation & Construction Girl are just the beginning to meeting the supply and demand needs of the future work force. With an aging work force ready to retire, our industries will soon need to think out- side of the box to find the best employees. It’s exciting to know that our industry leaders are our daughters, and that we’re preparing them now, to make a difference in the future, in their communities and their world. Tamara Moon is an independent writer for CPWJ. She can be reached on