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 at Clyde Companies, we hope to increase the number of women who decide to begin a career in construction.
Kristy Schellenberg was exposed to the construction industry from a very early age. She’s always felt comfortable walking around construction sites in a hard hat and getting to know all aspects of the industry.
“Not a lot of women as young as I was feel at home on a job site,” Kristy said. “I’m really thankful for that exposure. I feel comfortable communicating with people from A-Z in the industry. I’ve always felt like I belonged, was valued, and was respected.”
Building on the knowledge she gained as a youth, Kristy worked in various positions at Geneva Rock for the first seven years of her career, ranging from weighing trucks to windshield claims and performing tasks in the safety and human resources departments.
Now, Kristy is back working for Clyde Companies at GWC Capital in project management, which includes developing relationships with city personnel, builders, utility companies, engineers, architects, and so many others in the industry.
“I’m the person who puts those pieces of the puzzle together in order to create superior development for the community and a quality investment for the company,” Kristy said.
“Even though I’ve been involved in the construction world for as long as I have, there are still some terms and tools that are simply more familiar to men than women. There’s been a learning curve for me.
“For many years, the industry was classified as a man’s world, and it’s going to take a generation of us willing to take on that learning curve, but it’s important for women to be a part of construction. Women bring a different set of skills to the workplace and have a different perspective that is extremely valuable. We can make a big difference in the construction world.”
Kristy is doing her part to make an impact in her new position by learning even more about the industry. She is currently working on getting a master’s degree in real estate development. She’s doing it, in part, because she knows there’s no better place to work than at Clyde Companies.
“I have so much history and knowledge of the company,” Kristy said. “There’s no one better at valuing their employees and who’s making big strides in the development of this state.
“I have confidence in what this company and its resources can offer me. I have a personal, invested interest because of my history with the company and the love that I have for the people here.”
Whatever the future brings, Kristy knows it will include some facet of the construction industry.
“There’s something about building,” Kristy said. “Whether you’re building a structure or a road, you’re building a community, you’re building relationships. I love the fulfillment that comes from being involved with building something great.”