Women in Construction week is the first full week in March. Currently, only 13% of employees in the construction industry are female, according to Construction Coverage. By highlighting women involved in the trade, we hope to increase the number of women in construction and the growing role they play in the industry.
Michele Tippets is the owner and president of Wasatch Front Floor Coverings, a flooring company that provide all types of flooring and installation, specializing in large multi-family and commercial projects.
As part of the executive team, Michele has many responsibilities which include estimating/bidding on most multi-family projects, serving as a project manager for those same projects, and putting together the company’s financial statements.
“The accomplishment I am most proud of is taking a company from basically bankruptcy to a flourishing, successful, respected company,” Michele said.
The process hasn’t always been easy, particularly as a woman in the construction industry.
“It used to be very difficult for a woman leader to be in the construction industry because you had to work very hard to earn their respect,” Michele said. “This is definitely getting better, but it has always been very rewarding to earn their respect. There are still frustrating times, but this challenge helps clear the way for younger women.”
Michele loves seeing women excel in the construction industry.
“I think construction has lagged behind other industries in accepting women,” Michele said. “It is only in the last few years that I have seen women rise to role of a Project Manager. Women have such different perspectives to add to the construction industry, and as they become more involved, I think you will see the trade change in many ways.”
Some of those changes are beginning to show themselves, but for moments when times are difficult, Michele recommends holding your head high and laughing at those challenges that come your way.
“It will not be easy, but you are forging a path in an industry that has always been predominantly male,” Michele said. “Know beforehand that you are often going to have to prove yourself more than men. Change is slow, and you are going to have to be a leader for women down the road.
“Don’t go into the construction industry with a chip on your shoulder about the inequalities between men and women. The only way these inequalities can be changed is by women being willing to prove themselves and not backing down.”