Women In Construction Week – Pam Haney
Pam Haney | General Superintendent & Safety Director
“Don’t let anybody or anything create a glass ceiling over your head. Don’t be afraid to look ahead and be bold. I’ve always believed that you can excel if you are the right person for the right job, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman.”
Why did you get into the construction industry?
I’ve dabbled in construction my entire life. My whole family works in construction, so at age 9, I was out in the field, working with my dad. I was raised that if you needed something built or fixed, you did it yourself. Although it wasn’t how my career started, it just seemed natural that I ended up in construction.
Why did you choose to work at Martin Horn?
It was a fluke, actually. Jane [a former employee] called me as I was looking for a new job and offered me a job in accounting. I was ready for a new challenge. After a while, I realized it wasn’t for me. I went to the Horns to submit my notice of resignation, but instead of just accepting it, they asked me what it was that I wanted to do and what I wanted out of a job. I took a few days to think on it, wrote up a proposal for my current position and submitted it. They accepted it and the rest is history. I felt so supported and empowered that they wanted to invest in me as a professional, not just as an accountant.
What unique skills do you bring to your job as a woman?
Women are great in situations where we need to negotiate or multi-task. We also invest the time to connect with others on a personal level. I deal with subcontracted and in-house staff all day long, every day. It helps to have those skills behind me. I know the field staff, their families, their children, what’s going on in their lives. Over time, I’ve created many strong relationships and have been able to support and promote people across the course of their careers.
Are there women who inspired you along the way? Who?
My mother. Her strength and work ethic has been a huge inspiration to me. She worked until she was 72 and then after a month, couldn’t be kept from her work and went back into the workforce until she was 80. She loved to work and perform well at a job she was good at doing. That work ethic, focus and determination has inspired me, particularly when being in such a male-dominated industry. When I first started managing all the field staff, I had to overcome the stigma that construction was for men. Remembering her work ethic and attitude allowed me to be patient and know that over time, I would prove that I was the right person for this job and was chosen to do it for a reason. I bring a lot of passion to my job. Women in general bring a lot of passion to their work.
What career advice do you have for younger women interested in construction?
Don’t let anybody or anything create a glass ceiling over your head. Don’t be afraid to look ahead and be bold. I’ve always believed that you can excel if you are the right person for the right job, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman.
Why do you think women should work in construction?
There is a stigma around construction and that its all men. While it’s predominately men, there are many women who have been very successful in construction. Women have the ability to visualize a concept before its actualized and plan the process it takes to get there, which is an essential skill in construction.