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Members of Women in Construction stand in front of a steel structure at the Kansas Technology Center on Sept. 20. The organization provides representation and professional growth for members. Megan Brownell

Women in Construction: making a difference in a male dominated field  

Megan Brownell photojournalist 

Construction is an industry that is male dominated. Being a woman in male dominated fields can be tough. The National Association of Women in Construction is here to help shine a light on those women and to fight together in their profession.  

“NAWIC makes a difference by showing its members real world experiences and giving the members a chance to meet people from many different companies,” said senior in construction management Riley Forest.  

NAWIC is a national club at universities all across the nation, and PSU has had an active chapter for about six years.  

“I believe the club was brought here to PSU because representation matters, support matters, and seeing someone who looks like you doing something you plan on doing is empowering even if you don’t know it,” said assistant professor and advisor of NAWIC Erin Jordan.  

The club normally has meetings on Mondays at 7 p.m. in the Kansas Technology Center. Meeting agendas can vary, from discussions of any upcoming trips or company presentations, as well as how to raise money on campus for the club. Sometimes, they discuss topics relevant to their organization’s purpose.  

“The club overall is to celebrate women in the profession by giving them a comfortable space to talk about their experiences in the field and learn from the experiences of others,” Jordan said. “We want to create awareness for women in the field.”  

The club has also held fundraisers in the past such as bake sales, as well as a raffle of concrete benches made by the members of the club. These fundraisers were to help pay for trips to places such as Kansas City to tour active construction sites for a more visual learning experience.  

Forest also explained why she decided to join the club.  

“I wanted to join the club because it helped me meet more women in the same position as me,” Forest said. “Being a female in a male dominated career can be very intimidating, but by joining NAWIC I gained the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone which made me realize I chose the right major.”  

Jordan also mentioned why she decided to advise the club back in 2016. 

“I chose to advise the club since I am the only woman professor (in construction), but also because I have a strong desire to lift women up in every way.” Jordan said. 

Though currently they do not have any scheduled meetings on Gorilla Engage, the club is always welcome to any woman in construction wishing to join and help meet with fellow women to help inspire and support one another.  

“I have loved the opportunities NAWIC has given me and I hope our chapter continues to grow and help other women coming into the construction program to gain confidence as it did for me coming into the program,” Forest said.  

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