To honor Women's History Month, women in the water industry are sharing their career paths, insights and more.
In honor of Women’s History Month, which takes place in March, SWS asked women in the industry to tell us about their careers, goals, important industry issues and more. Each week throughout March, SWS will share one Q&A with a different woman in the industry.
Name & Title: Nadean Carson; Stormwater Manager Parker Design Group
SWS: Tell us about your career journey. How did you end up where you are today?
NC: In college, I majored in civil engineering and emphasized environmental electives. I wanted a way to combine environmental work and construction. After college, I joined the military, doing both construction and environmental jobs, separately. When I separated from the AF, I worked for a heavy highway firm, a geotechnical engineering company and then an engineering company. This last company afforded the opportunity to create a storm water department, focusing on providing storm water services to construction sites. It was the perfect opportunity to combine environmental work and construction.
SWS: Why water?
NC:The water that we have on earth right now is the same water that the dinosaurs had. It is the same water that our great grandchildren will have. We need to take care of it to ensure that the most important resource that we have is protected for future generations.
SWS: What do you think are the most pressing issues the industry is facing?
NC: Getting buy-in from people (owners, contractors, etc) to keep our water clean. It isn't enough for it to be a legislative mandate, it needs to be something that makes people WANT to do better.
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NC: What are your goals for both your career and in the industry?
NC: I want to be able to combine environmental responsibility with construction, to make it easier for people to be good stewards of the environment. I want to make it easier to do the right thing than the wrong thing.
SWS: What does it mean to you to be a woman in this industry?
NC: I feel a responsibility to show that women can do this work. I have two amazing women that work with me, and I feel that any time we roll up on a site and go trudging through the mud, we are representing the future of women in construction. It's not always "my daddy works construction.” It needs to be "my mommy works construction" too. I want my friend's 1-year old daughter to grow up playing with trucks as much as dolls and never hear "you can't do that". It is our responsibility to pave the way for those behind us, until all of this work isn't gendered anymore.
SWS :What advice can you give those that are new to the industry?
NC: Learn everything you can from everyone, from the CEO to the newest Laborer. Ask people how they do things and why. Always be learning new things. Realize how your piece fits in with everyone else and how you can help.