Throughout history, women have been subject to societally-derived ideas about what they can and cannot do. We are suggested “socially-fitting” careers and rarely offered opportunities in certain fields. However, despite these preconceived notions, countless women have taken it upon themselves to redefine history by driving monumental progress as leaders in these under-represented careers. Today, we talk to one of them.
To celebrate the conclusion of Women in Construction Week 2021, we asked Senior Project Manager Carolyn Caranante of AECOM Tishman about her experiences in the industry thus far. Ms. Caranante specializes in managing high-risk projects as they relate to schedule and budget. She has managed architectural work on several iconic superstructures in NYC including One World Trade Center, Manhattan West’s Northeast Tower lobby, and currently One Vanderbilt’s Observation.
First, we asked what advice she would give to the next generation of women in construction:
She continues, “The best advice I ever received is the advice I would like to share with women in the construction industry. When you are faced with challenging decisions in life and are feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself, "Is this issue going to still be a problem a year from today?" In most cases, it won't, and it'll give you perspective and encouragement to resolve the issue and stay focused on the bright future ahead of you. The second piece of advice I'd like to offer is to maintain your integrity. Cooler head will always prevail, and it's important to stay true to who you are.”
But why construction? What excites you about it?
“I chose to work in the construction industry because I enjoy being part of a team of builders, working together to enhance the city skyline.
I feel very welcome and accepted in my industry, and that is the reason why I chose to grow as an Architect and Project Manager with AECOM Tishman.
I have also met the most genuine people over the course of my career, and I believe it is because this industry is comprised mostly of down-to-earth, hard-working builders.
I love taking on projects with unique design objectives, and limited schedules because they require critical thinking and collaborative efforts. I am grateful and excited to work every day and be part of the collaborative that makes such an impact on the New York City skyline.“
To close, we asked how she’s seen technology support women in the industry.
What’s exciting to see?
“I think there are new technologies emerging that benefit all workers in the industry. Recently I've noticed a larger representation of women in construction that is encouraging. There are more women owners and workers in the field, as well as project managers. There is also a punch list management system co-founded by two women called Bridgit and used on incredibly large-scale projects.”
As with many industries, some consider women in construction a novel concept. But don’t underestimate us.
As Ms. Caranante both exhibits and encourages, women continue to relentlessly leave their mark on this industry. With the numbers creeping upward, organizations are seeing the value, power, and necessary contributions that women provide to skylines everywhere.