Celebrating Women in Construction Week and International Women’s Day with Tiffany Staten
Today, we are celebrating International Women’s Day simultaneously as we celebrate the 24th Annual Women in Construction Week (WIC). We asked PEA Group’s Houston Project Engineer, Tiffany Staten, to speak about her experience as a woman in a male-dominated field.
Tiffany Staten has been in construction for nearly 10 years. She is a graduate of the University of Houston and has worked at PEA Group’s Houston office as a Project Engineer since 2021.
When asked about her experience as a woman in a male-dominated field, Tiffany believes “being a woman in the field of engineering has its ups and downs just like any other job.” However, she acknowledges that when people learn she’s an engineer, they “often show a greater sense of respect” toward her.
Tiffany has not always been respected as a woman in the field, noting that “there are still people in the industry who grew up in a different era who have different beliefs and morals.” When faced with prejudice, Tiffany understands that unlearning those biases is sometimes harder than learning something new.
Women in Construction Week was established in 1998 by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) as a means to highlight experiences like those faced by Tiffany. With 115 chapters across the country, NAWIC offers educational, networking, and support opportunities to women in the field.
This year, Women in Construction Week’s theme is Envisioning Equality. Since its founding, the NAWIC has witnessed a positive trend toward equality. According to NAWIC’s website, women make up nearly 10% of the United States construction industry. Additionally, the pay gap in construction has shrunk and is significantly smaller than other occupations – with women earning an average of roughly 99% of what men make (https://www.nawic.org/statistics). While women have made great strides in the field, there is still much work to be done to close the gap.
Tiffany has not faced these challenges alone, crediting her fellow women engineers for their support. Tiffany has worked for companies she describes as having “diverse atmospheres” – making it easier for her to connect and collaborate with her female coworkers.
Regardless of the challenges, Tiffany has experienced over her career, she finds it rewarding to “conquer uncharted territory” and encourages women entering this field to have resilience and to not be deterred or intimidated. “If you want to do it; do it.”