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Women in Tunneling to meet at WTC 2016 25 Apr 2016

TunnelTalk reporting

Continuing a tradition of now nearly five years, women professionals in the global tunneling industry are invited again this year to meet at the World Tunnel Congress in San Francisco.

Women are making a positive mark in the tunneling industry
Women are making a positive mark in the tunneling industry
Women in Tunneling Lunch

Tuesday 26 April, at 12:00pm.
Place: Thirsty Bear Brewery,
Howard Street, San Francisco
RSVP: Erin.Clarke@jacobs.com

The aim of the group is for women in the profession to share their experiences, encourage other women to join the industry and to work collectively to dispel misconceptions about the ability of women to make professional and highly qualified and able contributions to the underground engineering and construction workplace.

“There are false perceptions in the industry about the hiring women in the underground construction marketplace and it is the work of us women already in the industry, and our male supporters, to help overcome these balks and trail blaze for those wanting to join the industry as well,” said Elisa Comis, Project Engineer with The Robbins Company and WTC event organiser with Erin Clarke, Project Engineer with McMillen Jacobs. "There are a lot of misconceptions about how tunneling is much harder for a woman,” said Comis, “but those of us already making it in the industry are proving that it really is and can be a career for us too.”

The invitation is for any lady professionals attending WTC 2016 in San Francisco to join the group for lunch on Tuesday 26 April, at 12:00pm. The meeting will be at the Thirsty Bear Brewery on Howard Street, which is very close to the Moscone congress venue.

Last meeting of the <em>Women in Tunneling</em> group at RETC 2015 in New Orleans
Last meeting of the Women in Tunneling group at RETC 2015 in New Orleans

Unlike being a preserve for only women - as tunneling was for only men for so long - men are also welcome to join the group and support the work and aspirations of women professionals in the industry. While it has been the desire of women to join the industry, it has been the confidence of male colleagues to present those opportunities and make space for women to “have a go!” and forge a career in the industry.

Prime supporters of the group and sponsoring the lunch are:

  • Lester Bradshaw, President of Bradshaw Construction
  • Jim Morrison, President of ILF USA
  • Gary Brierley, President of Dr Mole Inc
  • Loc Home, President of The Robbins Company
  • Bill Edgerton, Director of McMillen Jacobs Associates

If you would like to join the lunch meeting please RSVP as soon as possible to Erin Clarke Erin.Clarke@jacobs.com as numbers are to be pre-booked.

Members of the WIT group at the 2014 NAT event in Los Angeles
Members of the WIT group at the 2014 NAT event in Los Angeles

During the lunch meeting, the organisers have set an agenda to take the group to the next level of organization. “We need to be an official group,” explained Comis, “and so we plan to discuss different setup and management topics.” The topics include:

  • Election of a leader or perhaps multiple chairs to help with the work load
  • Form a mission statement
  • Brainstorm ideas on how to include men in the group
  • Brainstorm ideas on a speaker topic for following meetings

The group is now in its fifth year and has proven its staying power. It will continue to provide a support group for women entering the underground construction indusy.


References

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