For this second in a series of posts focusing on women working at WillScot, we reached out to five of our hard-working team members to ask them:
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO A CAREER IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY AND WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS A GOOD CHOICE FOR YOUNG WOMEN SEEKING TO ESTABLISH A CAREER?
Fallon Williams, senior sales partner for strategic accounts at our Bond Street headquarters in Baltimore, responded, “The greatest reward and what attracted me the most to construction is the need to always seek new and innovative ways to accommodate the consumer. I enjoyed the idea of being challenged due to the rarity of women in our industry and welcomed the consistent changes that we encounter. We are afforded the ability to be creative in our business in order to meet the consumers’ ever-changing wants and needs. It forces us to grow, which is something I always strive to do professionally and personally.
Fallon welcomes more women to enter the field. “The number of woman tapping into the construction industry definitely seems to be growing. What fascinates me most is the increasing number of young women flourishing and becoming extremely successful year-over-year despite the challenge of being in a male-dominated industry. It’s very exciting to witness firsthand.”
What fascinates me most is the increasing number of young women flourishing and becoming extremely successful year-over-year despite the challenge of being in a male-dominated industry.
Shauna Murray, an account executive based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, started in the customer service industry and hadn’t intended to enter the construction field until a former boss decided she fit the bill. “He was looking for someone to work for him long-term who could adjust to industry needs. After working there a couple of months, I saw the opportunity to advance into many different areas – safety, accounting, sales, parts, human resources – really, the sky was the limit. I also saw the opportunity to financially support myself. And to me, being financially independent was very important.”
Shauna believes construction is a great industry for anyone, commenting, “It is very diverse. The opportunities are there. The industry is always growing and changing. I’ve seen many positive changes over the years. It’s a great experience to grow and change with it. It is a tough industry, but it is also an industry where life-long friendships are made.”
Yasmin Garip is a senior inside sales representative for our central region. Before joining the company two and a half years ago, Yasmin was a timeshare sales representative. After that, she says, “I decided to seek a more meaningful and challenging path. I accepted this role with WillScot not knowing anything about the construction business, and I knew it would test my abilities. I have always been a successful sales person who invites competition and loves challenges, so I decided to give it a try. I was aware of the continuous growth within the industry and the unlimited opportunities; therefore, I strived hard to put myself in a position to win. Some women may be intimidated about having a career in an industry dominated by men because of the lack of knowledge and the fear of failure. But once you learn the business within the industry and master your territory, build your self-confidence and start climbing the ladder of success, it is extremely gratifying.”
For Ashlii Brummel, an account executive based in Chicago, working in the construction field came naturally: “My family has been involved in the construction industry for decades. My grandfather owned an excavating company and my father owned a successful union trucking company in the Chicago market. Our family sold our businesses after my father passed. I knew undoubtedly the construction industry would be my career. I have always enjoyed being challenged and from my experience, the construction industry will teach you to always expect the unexpected. The construction industry has been very good to me because of the relationships I have built. I built these relationships by being honest, consistent, an expert in my field and delivering solutions. I found this industry to be a very competitive and good competition will always push you to excel – if you are up for the challenge, of course!”
As for Ashlii’s advice for other women entering the construction field, she says, “This industry is male-dominated, which automatically sets you apart. Don’t let this intimidate you; instead, use it to your advantage. As a young female professional in the construction industry, I experienced many who naturally start acting as mentors because they want to see you succeed. The construction industry welcomes the next generation and will go out of their way to give you an opportunity to be successful.”
Melissa Peleikis is the Toronto branch territory representative based in Ontario. Before that, she worked as an inside sales representative at the company. For her, the challenges inherent in the construction industry are what initially attracted her to the field. “I have a few friends in the industry and had heard some negative stories in the past. When I decided it was time for a change, I thought, why not try something a bit harder? I am very happy with my decision and have no regrets; I don’t ever look back. I love working in an industry where I feel like I am breaking down barriers on a weekly basis. My day-to-day changes constantly, with new people, new sites and new opportunities. I love the fast-paced environment and can’t wait to see what the future holds for me in this industry.
What is Melissa’s advice? “I would suggest this industry to young women who are looking into different career options. If you are motivated and love overcoming obstacles and being challenged daily, this is the job for you. It’s not always easy, and I don’t suggest it to those thinking the lack of women will help them succeed. You have to be willing to do the work and prove yourself through your work. This is an industry where you need to know your trade very well. You need to be the specialist in everything you present to your clients. Any doubt my clients may have is easily forgotten once I demonstrate my knowledge, dedication and willingness to always learn more.”