Women in Construction: Corri Melling

Corri Melling

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.

Corri Melling never expected to lead her own business, but since 2006, Corri has taken charge of Melling Granite, a valued Beehive company which began in earnest purely by accident.

“It was going to be my husband’s company,” Corri said. “I planned to come in during install days to watch the show room, but it quickly became apparent that while my husband was the builder, the business side needed a different kind of leadership. I have more of a personality that I’m able to take things over. That’s how our relationship works. So, this became my full-time job and ‘my baby.’”

Melling Granite creates and installs granite countertops and anything else with natural stone. The company’s work stretches whenever and whenever they have contracts, from Las Vegas to Logan.

“I never thought I’d like playing with rocks all day, but I quite like it,” Corri said. “We need to move beyond the notion that construction is a man’s world. I grew up in construction but never thought it would be my life. However, I’ve learned to appreciate it and love it. There are so many opportunities here, regardless of gender.”

Throughout her years with the company, Corri has navigated through the twists and turns of owning and operating a small business as a woman.

“I’ve had to really hold my own a few times through the years,” Corri said. “It unfortunately happens more in smaller communities where you have older generations with a different mindset of what women can do. Sometimes it feels like you have to work twice as hard and prove yourself.”

Corri had to spend time doing just that with some of the contractors the company works with regularly. They quickly realized that they could rely on her to be more than just a “paper pusher” and be one of the most competent minds they work with. Despite setbacks such as these, she has learned to love everything about her job.

“The thing I enjoy the most is actually building something,” Corri said. “Working on a really complicated project is so fun. I love figuring out how to bid, build, and then install a piece without making it look complicated. That’s so rewarding.”

Corri is involved in all aspects of the shop. So much so, that it’s rare to find her in her office.

“I’m very hands on and most days you can find me out in the shop, on the forklift, installing or fabricating,” Corri said. “There isn’t anything I haven’t done, can’t do, or wouldn’t do. It is important to me that my example to others be not of just a business owner and someone that runs a construction office, but one of a skilled tradeswoman who is respected based upon my skills and experience.

“My trade needs more women fabricators and it is a constant goal of mine to bring more women into this trade. I’m on the Women In Stone Steering Committee from The Natural Stone Institute, and I hope my voice in this organization will be one that brings more women fabricators.”

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