Habitat Pinellas and West Pasco is excited to join the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) in celebrating Women in Construction (WIC) Week March 5th – 11th, 2023. WIC Week celebrates and promotes the role of women in the construction industry. This year’s theme, ‘Many Paths, One Mission’, celebrates the different journeys women have taken toward the same goal: strengthening and amplifying the success of women in the construction industry.
In honor of Women in Construction Week, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas & West Pasco Counties would like to highlight an important member of our organization: Kirsten Valentine, Senior Field Supervisor. Kirsten has been a part of our construction team for over three years and was introduced to the organization through a volunteer trip to Cambodia with the Habitat Global Village Program.
Growing up, Kirsten spent her Saturdays with her father visiting various construction sites and learning about the build process. She has always enjoyed working with her hands (putting things together, painting, drawing, etc.) and felt that construction was the best route to go to follow what she loves.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry is comprised of only 10.9% women, making it one of the most male dominated career fields in 2022. This statistic empowers Kirsten to work hard in order to inspire younger generations. “I feel like the younger generation of girls can see that there are no barriers with gender when it comes to who can work in any career field.” Being a woman in construction does not come without it’s challenges. ” An obstacle I had to face was building rapport that although I am a woman in construction, I do have the same knowledge as the men!” Kirsten explains. “Other obstacles I faced when I first started was creating the understanding that I can, in fact, lift that heavy thing!”
“Working every day with Habitat gives me purpose! Waking up knowing I am one small part in a huge cause for making dreams of homeownership come true is incomparable to any other feeling.”
Kirsten’s advice to young girls who want to work in construction in the future is to always believe in yourself, even when nobody else will. “Get back up and keep moving forward! There is nothing worthwhile in life that comes easy, so work hard, stay educated, and rule the construction world!”