Women in Construction Week
The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) is celebrating Women in Construction Week by highlighting women as important players in the construction industry. We want to share insights from three women who work at ECS and are involved in their local NAWIC chapters. We asked them what impact has their involvement in NAWIC has had on their personal and professional development. We hope that sharing their stories showcase how women positively impact our firm – and our industry.
How long have you been involved with NAWIC? How has it helped you professionally?
“I have been part of NAWIC since 2008. NAWIC has allowed me to meet many other women in construction and develop relationships that have been there for work and even personal issues. These relationships have resulted in work for ECS.” – Melissa Thackeray, ECS Florida, LLC
“I have been part of NAWIC Roanoke Valley for the past five years. Throughout my time in NAWIC, it has helped me professionally in many ways. When I started, I was new to the industry, and it quickly helped me gain relationships with women from all areas of construction. It gave me the resources for professional insight from other women, and it’s a “go-to” source that has helped provide me with more education that I may not get elsewhere. I have participated in several positions, such as Board Member, Marketing/Media/Newsletter, and currently as Vice President. Within each of these roles you learn new ways to support your organization, which has been helpful to my career. It has also opened the door for me to do things that are outside of what my job may offer. For example, due to a NAWIC connection, I had the opportunity to do a presentation to Geology students at Radford University, which is my alma matter. I spoke to those students, both male and female about the importance of networking, and how young women can succeed in a male dominated industry. Additionally, I have been able to be a mentor in my local community to other young women that want to get involved.” – Katie Bush, ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC
“I joined NAWIC in October 2006. I have been on the Board of Directors for a chapter since 2008 and served as a Director on the National Board for the 2013-2015 term. Currently, I am serving as the Chapter President for my local chapter and as the PR & Market Regional Chair. NAWIC has definitely played a role in my growth throughout the years. Being part of the association has allowed me to meet people from all over the country, giving me an even larger network of industry related professionals. I believe being part of NAWIC has improved my overall knowledge of the industry, my confidence and provided an opportunity to improve my leadership skills. While I still consider myself an introvert, I am not as opposed to networking, public speaking or stepping up to take the lead on a project.” – Samantha Hedgepath, ECS Corporate Services
What excites you about your job?
“Overall, I am extremely excited to be part of the ECS team! It is truly amazing to be surrounded by employees that are open-minded, high energy and smart. As I am digging into the development of market strategies, being able to work with our experts in different departments/offices has proven to be a rewarding and educational experience.” - Katie Bush
What or who inspires you at ECS?
“It is inspiring to work for a company that is very supportive of its team members and values the employees. With many companies you are simply a number. But here, you really feel part of a family. There are too many individuals to mention that have influenced me. I have several counterparts that are always available and supportive for most anything.” – Melissa Thackeray
“When I first started with ECS I was an entry level administrative professional and just a kid in my early twenties. I was given an opportunity to grow within the company, and having that opportunity to move forward has been inspirational. I have had the pleasure of working with some great people over the last 17+ years, but Ron Newman, Steve Neas, Walid Sobh, Donna Peters, Brian Maas and Raul Peralta are the team that has influenced me the most. I like to say I grew up in this company, and they’ve been my teachers, my mentors and my friends.” - Samantha Hedgepath
Thank you to Melissa, Katie and Samantha for sharing your experiences.