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September 2, 1999

Women in Construction

  • DJC Special Feature
  • Schuessler, Malone, Doan, Barkman
    Clockwise, from top left: Martha Barkman, Ann Schuessler, Viola Malone, and Piper Doan
    The common perception of the construction industry is that it's a man's game, ruled by the (in)famous old boys network. But, like everything else, it has changed and adapted with the times.

    Seattle is still in the middle of an incredible construction boom that has left most builders struggling not to find the next job, but get the last job done in time to start the next one. And with such opportunity, the industry has seen a rise in non-stereotypical construction workers. More specifically: women.

    While it may no longer be an odd thing to see a woman swinging a hammer on a job site right alongside a herd of burly men, women still face unique challenges in an industry that is traditionally so male dominated.

    The Daily Journal's special feature, Women in Construction, profiles a few of these women that work in construction and examines some of the issues they face in today's construction industry.

    - Ragan Willis, editor

    Featured stories:

    Her career is in the bag

    Call her the bag lady, but don't think she's living on the streets. A Puyallup woman has parlayed a $700 loan into a million-dollar business.

    Construction management: what women really want

    The smartest construction companies are making themselves attractive to the most talented women, with mentorships, good benefits and a commitment to rewarding excellence.

    Profile: Ann Schuessler

    Ann Schuessler, superintendent for Rafn Co., shares with Journal readers what what it takes to succeed as a woman in a non-traditional field.

    Doan's work continues in high-tech lab

    Before she died earlier this year, electrical contractor Piper Doan saw her dream come to fruition with the opening of the the training lab in the Construction Industry Training Council's Bellevue office.

    Schools failing to attract women into construction

    Construction management programs have not experienced growth in women's enrollment over the last 30 years like many other non-traditional professional degree programs.

    Barkman: managing projects suits her perfectly

    As project manager for Harbor Properties, Martha Barkman oversees construction on Harbor Steps, one of Seattle's most prominent, mixed-use housing developments.


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