Hosted by the National Association of Women in Construction, Women in Construction is March 7-13, 2021. The focus of the observance is to highlight women in the construction industry, raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry, and emphasize the growing role of women in the industry. In recognition of Women in Construction Week, it’s our honor to introduce you to a few of the women making it happen at PWI Construction.
Women in Construction Spotlight: Meet Raquel
Located at our corporate headquarters in Las Vegas, Raquel – a 26-year construction veteran – is a Project Coordinator with PWI Construction and has been with the firm for more than eight years. We sat down with Raquel to learn more about how she got into construction and her experience in the field.
What got you interested in a career in construction?
I’ve been in construction my whole life. I started working for a general contractor in 1995. My dad is a carpenter by trade and I remember as a little kid being dragged out to jobsites so my mom could help my dad as he would do piecework (paid for the framing as a whole job vs by the hour) so the sooner it was done, the sooner he could go onto the next job and that meant more money in our household that didn’t have very much back then. I would entertain myself by collecting all the nails and screws from the jobsite and sort them into the boxes they went back into or threw away the bent/broken ones. At a young age, I could walk a framed out home and see the different rooms and the overall layout of the house. I have always associated with people who work in construction since my family has held licenses in almost every trade including as a small general contractor. It was fate for me to be with my people in construction and I fell into it. I’m a creature of habit so I’ve stayed in my comfort zone.
What do you enjoy most about the construction field?
The people and their “different” sense of humor. It’s good to be comfortable with what you are doing, but it’s great to love what you do.
What's your favorite career-related memory?
There are so many. I’ve toured Fallon Naval Air Station as we were adding buildings and support facilities when Top Gun moved there. I’ve run across the tarmac at McCarran International Airport to turn in a bid. Yes, I had clearance to run out there. I’ve had projects at “Tonopah Test Range” where the red-striped white airplanes fly out of McCarran International. I’ve toured several bases such as Nellis Air Force Base, Fallon Naval Air Station, Hawthorne Army Ammunition Depot, Sierra Army Depot in CA, Nevada Air National Guard, California Air National Guard in Fresno, Mountain Training Center Marine Corps Pickel Meadows in CA, and even spent time in jail working on the Washoe County Sherriff’s Department addition in Northern Nevada. Perhaps the most memorable is the frequent lockdowns whenever an inmate wasn’t immediately located at the jail or if the Deputies set off flash bombs. Yeah, that was pretty nerve-racking.
What advice do you have for other women interested in construction?
Why is construction a great career field for women to pursue?
There is room for growth for women in construction even though it’s still a male-dominated field. Strong, smart women will go far in this industry.