The Porter Co. recognizes the need for more women in the construction industry and the unique perspective and skills they bring to the field. We’re celebrating Women in Construction Week this week by highlighting some of our team.
Shop Coordinator, Keri Payne studied Early Childhood through 6th Grade Education at Texas State University before deciding to take on the challenge of a career in construction. She joined The Porter Co. in early 2017 as a material handler at Samsung. After six months, Keri moved over to our in-house fabrication shop as Shop Coordinator where she handles scheduling and coordinating deliveries with jobsites, priority lists for the shop floor, inventory and ordering, job cost, ST duct, and ticket tracking. We reached out to her to tell us about her perspective and experience of being a woman in the male-dominated construction field.
⚙️What are some of the challenges that you face as a woman in this industry?
“One of the biggest challenges I have faced is proving my worth to others. Women are in the overwhelming minority in this industry, so I’ve always felt a sense that as the “unknown” person on the floor, at the shop, or in class, I would have to demonstrate my abilities to a higher degree than everyone else. Fortunately, I succeeded. I gained the trust and appreciation of those around me, and now I’m more comfortable and confident than I’ve ever been.”
⚙️What do you think are some of the advantages of being a woman in the construction industry?
“Many women are innately organized and being organized is one of my best skills, which has served me well in my coordinator role. Additionally, as an outsider, I offer a fresh perspective on problems/scenarios that our team faces.”
⚙️What is something you’re really proud to have accomplished or been a part of in your career?
“I designed production reports for each of our job sites that track material costs, labor costs, and total costs for every ticket the shop produces. These reports not only help the shop stay on track with the budget, but they help set goals and to strengthen our weaknesses; they also will be beneficial to forecasting and estimating in the future.”
⚙️What advice would you give to young women entering the construction industry today?
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions and never stop being curious—both lead to learning!”
⚙️How do you think the industry at large can help with the inclusion and advancement of women in construction?
“From my experience, women should be empowered, meaning their strengths should be maximized. They should be given greater responsibility and hold important positions. When those things are done, women’s admiration and loyalty for the industry will grow and their inclusion will grow and maintain.”
⚙️What is an aspect of the construction industry that you are excited to see develop in the future?
“Innovation because it’s always evolving, which means there will be more interesting/new things to learn in the future.”