By Kim Spicer
Hard Hats. Strong Women. Building the Future.
Follow our blog to hear the stories of women working in construction in New York City at every level as we ask 20 questions to women working in construction.
What was your first job in construction? Renovation on 66th & Madison we referred to it as the "Hell Hole."
What is your current job? Westin Hotel 43rd & 8th Avenue.
What job do you want in the future? Shop Steward for Local #3
Are you in a union? What is the best part of being in a union? Yes, solidarity.
Why did you choose construction? What led you to construction? I've always loved working with my hands. I went to college for Electro-Mechanical Engineering. I couldn't afford the rest of the tuition to finish. I saw the ad for NEW on the subway and bus stops and decided to give them a call.
When did you realize you wanted to work in construction? When I was in college and knew it would be really hard to find a job after I got my engineering degree, which I still have yet to receive. I'd like to finish that soon.
Is there someone in particular in your life that led you to this career? No.
Who inspires you? My 18-month-old daughter, Leighton.
What has been the most surprising part of being a woman working in construction? A LOT of the guys on the job show respect and are chivalrous. They help a lot and carry stuff that they think is heavy and I let them. I have nothing to prove and I think it gives them an ego boost.
What is your favorite part of your career? Being on a job from start to finish. Then returning once it's done. Like the Smythe Hotel on Chambers St. & W. Broadway. My boyfriend and I went back there for drinks and I remembered so much, like when it was concrete slabs.
What is your most memorable moment working in construction? My partner and I hanging a hideous chandelier and the client freaking out because he thought this plethora of rainbow colors flashing was the final product. He didn't know you could change them with a remote and I just laughed because he was screaming, "Who approved this?" "What is this?"
What is the best company you have worked for? EGG Electric
What is your favorite project you have worked on? The Mondrian Hotel in Soho/ Chinatown.
What is the biggest challenge of being a woman working in construction? Bathrooms.
What is the biggest change you have seen in the field since you started? Nothing.
What advice would you give someone starting out? Bring a Carhart jacket to work in just in case you have to work in it and it's big enough to fit layers underneath. Oh and hand and foot warmers -- the 10-12 hour ones. Because if you get 6 hour warmers they'll only work for 3-4 hours and it's a 7-8 hour work day.
What is your favorite tool? Lineman pliers/Side cutters
What is your favorite hard hat sticker? The Local Union #3 insignia sticker.
What is your most valuable certification? What was the most challenging? OSHA, Green technology certification
What would surprise us about you? I worked until my 9th month of pregnancy -- the Goldman Sachs Embassy Suites hotel by ground zero.
Tell us "What is your favorite tool"?
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