The focus of Women in Construction (WIC) Week (March 3-9) is to highlight women as a viable component of the construction industry. WIC Week also provides an occasion for NAWIC’s thousands of members across the country to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry and to emphasize the growing role of women in the industry. It is also a time for local chapters to give back to their communities.
Follow along with us throughout the week as we sit down and chat with some of our incredible Women in Construction at Comfort Systems USA Southwest!
MICHELLE GIBBONS - COMFORT SYSTEMS USA SOUTHWEST PROJECT MANAGER
Years in the industry: 25 years
Years at Comfort Systems USA Southwest: 9 months
Why did you originally seek a job within a construction company?
I always hated pantyhose.
What do you like the most about working in the construction industry? What do you like the most about working at Comfort Systems USA Southwest?
People in the Construction industry show their true selves. No fake personalities or hypocrites for the most part. Comfort's employees really try to maintain a teamwork atmosphere instead of competing with each other.
If applicable, how does working with Comfort Systems USA Southwest differ from other Construction companies you previously worked at?
For me, it's mainly the merit shop vs. union shop.
There is an obvious lack of women within our industry (compared to men in the industry). Comfort Systems USA Southwest is making a concerted effort to attract more women into the industry. Personally, do you feel that the construction industry as a whole is embracing women?
I actually do. Over the last 25 years, I've seen more and more females in the field, in project management, and as engineers and architects.
Why do you think the percentage of men to women within the industry is so low?
Stereotypes that have been passed down for generations. Or, maybe other women actually like pantyhose?
What can Comfort Systems USA Southwest do to attract women into the indsutry?
I think the only thing you can do is not discriminate based on sex. I don't see any discrimination here, so 1-2-3 GO COMFORT!
Any words of wisdom or advice for women who are thinking about joining the industry, or for those who are new to it?
There's no crying in construction. Make sure your skin is thick before you enter. Once you've proven you're not offended by everything, life will be so much easier.