Women still make up less than 10% of the construction workforce. So, in honor of Women in Construction Week, we took some time to get to know a few of our female employees a little bit better. And how better to get to know someone than by playing a little game of 20 questions? Our players in the hot seat included Brittany Kirk (Project Controls Analyst), Brandy Wilson (Project Controls Manager), Chelsea Vaden (Project Engineer), and Rachel Rose (Project Engineer). We asked them questions ranging from serious to laugh out loud funny and on topics including work, home, and play. Here’s what they had to say!
1. What motivates you to work hard?
BK: Providing for my family.
BW: To provide for my family and make sure my job is done correctly.
CV: To maintain my lifestyle.
RR: To make sure my projects are successful, and my bills get paid.
2. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
BK: I would be on the beach with a beer.
BW: I’d be a billionaire. I could do a lot with a billion dollars in one day.
CV: I’d go skydiving.
RR: A beach vacation…no phones, no internet.
3. If you were a super-hero, what power would you have?
CV: Super strength. I would arm wrestle all the guys.
4. Which historical figure would you most like to meet?
BK: Jimi Hendrix
BW: JFK or Elvis
CV: Johnny Cash
RR: Amelia Earhart or Ronald Reagan
5. What's the most daring thing you've ever done?
BK: Swing over Royal Gorge.
BW: Skydiving. It wasn’t fun and the landing was horrible.
CV: Test my boss’s patience daily!
RR: Skydiving. I was scared, but it was fun.
6. What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
BK: A knife, a water purifier, and a magnifying glass to start fire.
BW: A fire starter, a machete, and a spear. Or vodka, Netflix, and a hammock!
CV: Somebody better be taking Wilson – I have to have someone to talk to – a cooler of drinks, and a blanket.
RR: A swiss army knife, chapstick, and a weapon.
7. What did you want to be when you were small?
BK: A marine biologist
BW: A singer
CV: In Kindergarten, I wanted to work at McDonalds because I thought that would be really cool. Later, I wanted to be a lawyer.
RR: An interior designer
8. What is your proudest accomplishment?
BK: My daughter. She’s the best thing ever and I’m very proud of her.
BW: My marriage of 18 years. We got married when I was 19 and have been together ever since.
CV: My career
RR: My marriage. I have the best husband. We were high school sweethearts.
9. What would you sing at Karaoke night? (You can probably guess that we all had a good laugh with this one!)
BK: Shoop by Salt-N-Pepa or Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus
BW: Waterfalls by TLC
CV: Can’t Fight the Moonlight by Leann Rhymes or Milkshake by Kelis
RR: Baby Got Back by Sir Mix A Lot
10. What’s your favorite piece of construction equipment?
BK: The cranes. The way they have to assemble them and the logistics of making sure they’re balanced is impressive.
BW: Bulldozers and demolition equipment.
CV: A level. I like everything being parallel and even. It’s also simple, but important.
RR: Steel erectors. I love to watch the steel structures go up.
11. What’s the coolest or most interesting thing you’re working on right now?
BK: Rehabilitating the stained glass on a historic church.
BW: Everything that I work on is interesting and challenging. I learn something new almost every day.
CV: *cue the crickets*
RR: A project with a night vision goggle training area.
12. What is your favorite road trip snack?
BK: Trolli gummy worms
BW: Beef jerky
CV: Lunchables and sunflower seed
RR: Granola bars
13. What do you think is the most important quality of a coworker?
14. What is your hidden talent?
BK: Skeet shooting
CV: Eating a whole tub of Dutch chocolate ice cream without sharing.
RR: I have zero talent. Zero. I guess I could talk you to death.
15. What’s something you find challenging about your work?
BK: Time management and how everything is urgent.
BW: Being a woman in a male dominated industry has been the challenge of
the last 15 years of my career. I get called Randy or Brady a lot because people
assume that I’m a man and my name is written wrong. [BK: Yeah, I get called Kirk.]
CV: Adapting to the everyday changes that a project can throw at you.
RR: Staying up with the constant changes in the industry.
16. What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?
BK: Learning Accumatica, our new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
BW: Also learning Accumatica.
CV: Getting comfortable in the P6 scheduling software.
RR: I’m working on my LEED GA certification.
17. What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
BK: That I like to turkey hunt and fish. I love fishing.
BW: I like to camp and I’m from California. I was also in beauty pageants as a kid – it was ridiculous.
CV: That I grew up in the country. Like way out in the country.
RR: I was accepted to law school and interned for a US Congressman.
18. Where’s the next place on your travel bucket list?
BK: Bora Bora
BW: The east coast and all the historical areas
19. What's one thing that can instantly make your day better?
BK: Good music
CV: Chocolate donuts
RR: A compliment
20. What's the best career advice you've ever heard?
BK: Every human makes mistakes. I’m really hard on myself.
BW: Don’t enable these people. Dave Thomas told me that.
CV: Just keep learning and advancing.
RR: No question is a stupid question.
It may not come as much of a surprise that the women in our industry are smart, well-rounded, and have great senses of humor. Ross Group is more than proud to have them as part of our team. If you’re a young woman in high school or college and are considering a career in construction, we’d like to take this opportunity to encourage you to pursue your dreams!