Women in Construction: Taylor Watson
University of Akron - B.S. Construction Engineering Technology
4 years in the industry
Taylor Watson is a 5th year senior at the University of Akron, graduating this May with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Technology. Taylor did four summer co-op rotations at Turner Construction, serving in roles of superintending and engineering. Upon graduation, Taylor will be working as a Field Engineer for Turner Construction. Taylor has been involved for 3 years with the National Service Fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, serving in many roles, but most recently as their vice president of membership for the Akron Chapter.
What brought or attracted you to the construction industry?
I never knew I wanted to work in construction until I got to high school. I got accidentally placed into an engineering class elective as a freshman and, quite frankly, I was not happy about it. My mom told me I better not fail that class, so I shaped up and decided to try and enjoy it. Little did I know, I fell in love with engineering and everything about it (shoutout to my teacher, Mr. Svec for never giving up on me)! The following year, I decided to join the ACE Mentor Program team at Rhodes High School, and from there, I was exposed to the exciting career options in construction.
What do you like most about your work?
I love that every day, every job is different. I have had the opportunity to meet so many fantastic people in my time working in the construction field. You never realize what a small world it is until you see people from one job to the next and get the chance to work together again. I love that construction allows me to have a career that is exciting every single day.
What would you like to see change within the construction industry?
We need more women in leadership roles! Having those women that myself, and those younger than me, can look up to is the most motivating part of my job. When I see a woman in a position I want, I know that I have every opportunity to work my way up to the same jobs.
What are your long term career goals?
Honestly, I would love to continue working my way up in the construction industry and be able to eventually become a project executive or even a VP. However, most importantly to me would be using my position in any job role to inspire and engage young girls and women. I would love to one day start a program that goes into elementary and middle schools to expose these young people to the opportunities in A/C/E fields.
What advice would you give to other women interested in construction?
Find a mentor who inspires you, encourages you, and challenges you to become the very best version of yourself each and every day.
Describe the kinds of opportunities in construction available to women?
Any opportunity in construction that is open to a man is open to a woman as well. You just have to work hard and believe.
What can be done to attract more women to construction?
Early exposure is key. By the time girls are seniors in high school, it is too late and they most likely already have a plan set in place for what they want to do. If they are exposed early on, like 7th and 8th grade, they can shape the formative high school years around a construction related career path, whether that be extra curricular activities or beginning to look at trade schools and colleges.