From BIM (building information modeling), to tablets, to drones, to jobsite communication, technology is more frequently becoming a staple on construction projects across the country. While there are a number of different people involved in a technology initiative, women are more often playing a bigger role—and this is something the industry might begin to see more of in the future.
Consider Balfour Beatty, www.balfourbeattyus.com, Dallas, Texas. The commercial construction business delivers more than $3.4 billion each year, and also has a focus on creating one-of-a-kind buildings that enhance people’s lives. What’s more the company makes service delivery and relationship building a top priority.
Certainly a commercial company of this size is using technology for BIM, mobility, and to heighten communication and project efficiency. The company says it has taken a step forward bringing technology solutions to help streamline and provide efficiencies in the construction industry—especially direct to the field. Women are playing a big role in this effort too.
For example, one of the challenges in the construction industry in general is the communication between the project-site side of construction and the office side. Sree Kala Kadiani, assistant manager for integrated projects, Balfour Beatty, had to work as part of the ‘boots on the ground’ team to understand the approach to construction and how technology can improve the efficiency of construction.
A number of women at Balfour Beatty are involved in technology initiatives—and are looking to help others get involved in technology in construction. Kasey Bevans, CIO, Balfour Beatty Construction, says, “It is important for women to see other women in key leadership positions to avoid creating the impression that there are limited career paths and leadership opportunities for women in the construction and technology industries.”
She also stresses there are many roles in the technology industry—some technical, some strategic, some collaborative—and that you don’t have to be a ‘genius’ to work in the field.
The company is one that recognizes the importance of education and building relationships, and is participating in Constructech magazine’s Technology Day event this Friday, October 3, at the Sofitel San Francisco Bay Hotel. Nancy Novak, national vice president of operations at Balfour Beatty Construction, will moderate the Women in Construction discussion panel that will kick off the show at 12:15 p.m.
Novak will moderate a panel of women that includes Cora Carmody, Jacobs, www.jacobs.com, Pasadena, Calif., Jennifer Heikkinen, Tocci Building Companies, www.tocci.com, Woburn, Mass., Terriann Nohilly, Turner Construction, www.turnerconstruction.com, New York, N.Y., and Cari Williams, DPR Construction, www.dpr.com, Redwood City, Calif.
How has the role of women in the space changed? How can the industry as a whole come together to help get more women involved in tech initiatives? These questions and more will be answered, as the industry gathers on Friday for a day of education and networking to discuss the future of technology in the construction industry.