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Women Inspire Construction

This article is the first in a series that addresses the subject of women in the engineering profession. Maria Stavridis, CEGE Communications Intern, attended Ohio State's Women Inspire Construction event that featured guest speakers, all of whom are women in positions of power in the construction industry. The event was open to all female engineers and encourages women to pursue a career in construction systems management.

The large and empty auditorium of the Nationwide and 4H Center building stood quiet and peaceful when the rare absence of large events on the calendar are in motion. It was a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the many academic events it holds throughout the year when students and faculty alike are crowding out the parking lot to attend presentations and celebrations. This silence didn't last much longer, though- the Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE) department of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) sponsored the feminist event of the year on October 10th, 2019, the fourth annual Women Inspire Construction Expo. “We’re really excited that we had OSU alumni speakers on the panel this year,” said Adrienne Sraver, a lecturer in FABE and organizer of the event.

Construction Systems Management has been widely seen as a male profession for the longest time. When one thinks of construction and building sites, the image of men with orange hard hats comes to mind. However, that is not the only side of the complex construction management industry. Many different components like engineering, communications, and computer sciences go into making a construction project successful.

Adrienne Sraver“We want to raise awareness to more women and girls about all the possibilities they have in construction systems,” Sraver said. “Most women are not aware of the successful females that have turned the industry around.” With architecture and structural advances becoming a more central symbol of power in our society, construction systems management is an integral part of the future. Events like the Women Inspire Construction Expo are helping to make sure that women are not left out of that future. “It’s important to create that camaraderie now,” Sraver said, “so that girls can have a sense of community when they go into these fields.”

 

The program featured all-female guest speakers from a variety of different construction companies and positions. This year’s guest lecturers were Lindsay Jones, Jamie Hadac, Denise Delong, and Patricia McClimon. “We don’t have control over which speakers are alumni and which ones aren’t,” Sraver explained, “so when we get someone willing to speak who is a graduate of Ohio State, that’s a really great opportunity.”

  • Lindsay Jones is the CEO and owner of the company Blind Eye Restoration, which is a historic restoration contracting company in the midwest. She received her undergraduate degree from Ohio State.
  • Jamie Hadac is the owner and CEO of the company Fire-Seal LLC, which is fire-proof foam insulation and extinguisher company. She graduated from the University of Delaware.
  • Denise Delong is the owner and majority service holder of Singleton Construction LLC. She
    founded the company in 1995, and it has been thriving ever since.
  • Patricia McClimon is the Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and has been overseeing the ambulatory expansion project at the main campus. 

The speakers shared their struggles and achievements with the students and gave them valuable advice on how to make an impact as a woman in a largely male-dominated field.

by Maria Stavridis, CEGE Communications Intern