Jessa Brinker, Assistant Superintendent

What do people say when you tell them you work in construction?

Being a woman in the construction industry always brings about different responses when you tell others what you do. If the person asking is also in the industry, they’ll often ask questions and are interested. “What do you do? What jobsite are you on? How do you like it? Tell me more!” I often find that when you come across people outside of the industry, you may get a short answer, with less interest or understanding that it is becoming more and more common to be in the construction industry as a female.

What do you like best about being in the construction industry?             

One of my favorite things about being in the construction industry is that it is ever-changing. One day you could be drilling piers, the next day watching steel being set, and in another blink of the eye you’re wrapping up the job. In a year’s time you get to be involved in so many different pieces of the puzzle, and solve so many problems. There’s never two days that are alike, which truly makes the industry unique, and is what keeps me loving it every day. Even if you have a bad day, you can show up the next knowing that where you’re at and what you’re doing is going to change in a flash, as will the building in front of you.

How does more diversity on a construction jobsite help teams solve problems better?

When you have a diverse construction job team—whether that is a difference in your background, where you grew up, what experience you have—you are able to solve problems better, faster, and oftentimes in a more cost-effective way. A diverse group comes with different ways of thinking and approaching a problem, which in turn comes with multiple different ways to slice the pie and achieve a solution that one person alone may not have been able to come up with.

Why did you choose Swinerton?

Swinerton felt like home from the first day. I started with Swinerton as an intern and everyone from then all the way to now has been welcoming and truly cares about you. Any time I’ve felt like there was an issue on the jobsite, I needed someone to talk to, or just needed help with a situation, people jumped right in and acknowledged my request and were there for me to lean on.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Working at Swinerton, I’ve been able to see multiple sides of the industry and the jobsite, from spending time in estimating, to kicking off a job, to now wrapping one up. I feel like I’ve been exposed to many sides of the industry in just the few years I have been with Swinerton. It’s truly a unique experience to see and understand what all goes into the projects that you’re working on and being able to share that knowledge with others.

What is your advice to women looking start a career in construction?

My advice to any women looking to enter the industry is to just do it! Don’t let the stigma of being in construction scare you off or deter you. It’s a decision that was tough for me to make when initially looking to get into the industry, but I’ve never second guessed that decision or looked back on it. If it’s the right fit for you, you’ll know it!

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