Interview by Maria Silva, NHEO Institute Community Development.
Please Tell us your name, role, and your background.
My name is Freda Jetton, and I am the Marketing Assistant for Pogue Construction. I have been in the construction industry 10 months at the moment.
How did you get involved in construction?
I was referred to the company through a staffing agency. They thought I would be a great fit and should give it a go since I was bi-lingual. Haven’t looked back since!
Why did you choose this profession?
I chose this profession for two reasons: 1) To make a difference for women by learning as much as I can and by climbing up the corporate ladder to be in a position of making a difference for Hispanics and women. 2) To show my daughter that she can be and do whatever she wants, even in a male dominated industry.
Would you say it’s more difficult to start a career in construction for women than it is for Men?
Yes, it is a lot harder for women to start a career in construction. Women face a daily struggle in every industry by competing with their male equal counterpart. There are not a lot of women in the construction industry due to the fact that it is not a career that is targeted at women. There is not enough awareness and not enough role models that women can look up to and say “I want to be like her when I grow up”.
What are some of the biggest challenges that you think women face in the construction Industry?
One of the biggest challenges in this industry is finding a mentor, someone who has “been there, done that” and is willing to pass on the knowledge. Once you find that person, take advantage of all the knowledge they may have to offer. Be a sponge; learn as much as you can and apply it.
Do you think the number of women in construction will increase in the future?
I do believe that there will be more women in construction in the future because construction companies are raising awareness and marketing roles for women.
What are your recommendations for other women and NHEO Institute members?
As a Hispanic and a woman, my biggest recommendation would be to “Speak softly and carry a big stick” by Theodore Roosevelt.
What is something that surprises people about you?
One of the biggest things that surprises people about me, is that I was a bail bondsman and a teacher. No one really believes me when I tell them that those were roles that prepared me for the expected and unexpected situations.