Please tell us your name, role, and your background:
My name is Brenda Salazar, I am currently a Senior at and I am expecting to graduate December 2020. I have been working in Construction since May 2017 and worked in projects ranging from $110K – 550M. I began working with commercial and residential construction and lastly worked with heavy Civil.
How did you get involved in construction?
I became involved in this industry by just being initially a secretary for a Interior Design company located in McAllen who worked with many large projects. Later got a new opportunity working as Cost Analyst and did quantity take-off’s for a residential company. I was already in the role of Civil Engineering student but this guided by towards wanting to become a Project Manager as P.E.
Why did you choose this profession?
I chose this profession after a few trial-and-error Career Major decisions. I always wanted to work where I can help my community, but also using Math, being a leader and enhance my OCD planning skills. As a future Civil Engineer, I would like to help build for the public and give them the most efficient roads, highways, hospitals etc.
Would you say it’s more difficult to start a career in construction for women than it is for men?
I do not believe it is difficult for women to start a career in construction due women always being able to work hard and achieve our goals.
What are some of the biggest challenges that you think women face in the construction industry?
Some of the biggest challenges women face in construction industry is that they believe we are fragile and can’t work well under pressure. As a perfectionist I like to do it best sometimes time is a problem but with experience and gained knowledge it gets better, challenges and finished jobs are what makes this field my number one choice.
Do you think the number of women in construction will increase in the future?
I do see a number of women in construction increasing a lot. As Hispanic women I am we are raised to help and provide at home but if we can help and provide for not just our home but our neighbors and community, and all genders working as ethical as possible makes us better Engineers.
What are your recommendations for other women and NHEO Institute members?
A recommendation I have for other women in the NHEO Institute is to always be proud of what you do. This is a tough field, but we can use these challenges to make us better, use these challenges to increase our limits. Eat and sleep well too.
What is something that surprises people about you?
Something that surprises people about me is my work experience in Construction for only being a student. I do have a total of 2.5 years of construction experience and with each opportunity I have learned something new. Each opportunity has led me increase my limits in a healthy way. I aspire to gain more experience and keep surprising people with my knowledge in Construction.