Passing by a construction site, watching the workers in their hard hats and reflective vests operating machinery or surveying a jobsite, it is easy to see that most of those employees are male.
According to the New England Institute of Technology, in 2018, only 9.9% of females made up this career field. Audra Dentinger, project manager at Adena Corporation, is a part of the small percentage of women who work in the construction industry and she’s doing it right here in the community.
Dentinger has always had a passion for art and math, and positions in this line of work allowed her to combine her interests and skills. Her previous job at Kirk Brothers Construction ignited a spark to continue in the profession at Adena.
“The idea of continuing with my experience in treatment plant work as well as broadening my knowledge to other construction areas was appealing,” Dentinger said.
She spends her work days in meetings ensuring her projects are running smoothly, reviewing budgets and schedules, submitting information to architects for review and communicating with her onsite superintendents and subcontractors.
Dentinger has worked on a variety of unique projects such as the Columbus Zoo Orangutan Indoor Exhibit and the Mansfield Art Center. Recently, she has been working on several of healthcare facilities.
“I’ve been involved with various freestanding emergency departments, imaging centers, infusion treatment center expansions and various medical office building renovations and new builds just in Richland and Ashland counties. To be a part of those projects and to know that the end product will help people really means a lot to me,” Dentinger said.
Positions like the one Dentinger upholds are in high demand currently. According to a study done by the National Bureau of Economic Research, women are better at collaborating than men and in the construction field, this is necessary for productivity and profits for the company.
The number of women in construction continues to rise. In 2020, females made up 10.9% of the construction industry workforce. This number seems to be slowly but surely growing.
“Today’s industry is much more accepting of women in the construction field. It has come a long way since I entered the industry in 2005 as a newly graduated project manager. As with any industry or occupation, male or female, I think it takes time to get your footing and garner the respect of fellow employees and industry personnel,” Dentinger said when asked if she ever felt undermined in her workplace.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction field is expected to add 400,000 new jobs from 2020-2030 and the percentage of women in the profession will only continue to rise.
Dentinger believes the construction industry is a great field for women to thrive in more than one way. She says females not only bring great value to the profession, but they are also able to balance managing big projects while also taking care of a family at home.
“My advice would be to be confident in your abilities and not to be intimidated by the industry,” Dentinger said.
Considering the continued growth of Adena Corporation, they have a variety of career opportunities from construction management to skilled trades and general labors.
The construction company offers on the job and workshop training programs for their employees. Reach out for more details here to not just find an excellent job in construction, but to make a difference in your community.