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Women in Construction Spotlights

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women made up 56.8% of the U.S. workforce, with 10.8% in the construction industry—historically male-dominated—in 2023.


As more women join and establish a presence in the construction industry, there is a whole generation of women at Manson who continue to pave the way for careers in marine construction and dredging.


We spoke with several women at Manson to learn about their roles and seek their advice on how to engage women in construction.


CAREY SHANNON


Q. What is your name, and what is your role at Manson?


A. My name is Carey Shannon, and I am a Learning & Development Specialist.


Q. With construction being such a male-dominated industry, what brought you to it?


A. Chance and enthusiasm. I needed a job and secured an interview with Manson through a temp agency. The safety assistant job I interviewed for was a temporary position. I managed to secure a permanent position with my enthusiasm for Safety Committee Work at my previous job and a potential future with Manson.  


Q. Can you talk about some of your core responsibilities as a Learning & Development Specialist?


A. As a Learning and Development Specialist and veteran Manson employee, my responsibilities are to convey Manson operations, history, and methods to new hires and current employees via videos and webinars. 


Q. What do you like about working at Manson? What are the rewards?


A. The opportunity and privilege to see the vital role that the construction industry plays in the world. Had I not worked for Manson, I would know nothing about the basic operations of a construction project nor see the impressive feats of the marine construction industry. 


Q. The women's workforce in the construction industry continues to grow every year; what can we do to engage and inspire women to join the construction industry?


A. It is important to establish women in construction as the rule and not the exception at an early age. Elementary students could be taken on field trips to project sites where women are working in the trades or supervising the work. Children should also be encouraged at the elementary age to work on engines or build structures.  The Girl Scouts have a series of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) badges.  Public schools could develop similar programs at the elementary level.    


Q. This year’s WIC Week Theme is “Keys to the Future,” celebrating the strength and knowledge of women in construction. What advice or encouraging words do you have for women who are interested in joining Manson or the Construction Industry?


A. You are valued and needed. Manson and the construction industry as a whole face an aging work force.  Everyone with a passion and strong work ethic is needed to build new projects and maintain current ones. 


Additionally, in a crisis such as a flood or hurricane, it is the builders and skilled craft persons that are essential to clean-up, repair and rebuild.  In these situations, the ability to weld far exceeds the ability to tabulate the cost of welding on a spread sheet. 



ANJU TAK


Q. What is your name, and what is your role at Manson?


A. Anju Tak, and I am an accounting manager at Manson.


Q. Can you talk about some of your core responsibilities as an Accounting Manager?


A. I am involved in Accounts Receivable, job costing, job billing, forecasting, and helping the Controller with month-end and year-end tasks.


Q. The women's workforce in the construction industry continues to grow every year; what can we do to engage and inspire women to join the construction industry?


A. Today, women are excelling in every field. If you have talent and knowledge, then the kind of industry should not be the factor affecting the selection of the industry. I will totally encourage women to join the construction industry if they have an interest.


Q. What challenges do you face in your current role?


A. At first when I joined Manson, it was new for me to work in the construction industry. I have to totally rely on projects to get all the information needed. I have to build relationships with project managers and administrators to get the right information out at the right time.      


Q. What do you like about working at Manson? What are the rewards?


A. I like the family culture and taking care of each other. I appreciate the flexibility provided by managers. I don’t feel pressurized at Manson, and I feel free to express myself. It feels like home to me.


Q. This year’s WIC Week Theme is “Keys to the Future,” celebrating the strength and knowledge of women in construction. What advice or encouraging words do you have for women who are interested in joining Manson or the Construction Industry?


A. “If you don’t see a clear path for what you want, sometimes you have to make it yourself” - Mindy Kaling.


If you have talent and courage, then the construction industry is as rewarding as other industries.



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