Women have had an incredible impact on construction despite consistently comprising only a small percentage of the overall workforce. Their ingenuity and hard work have led to some of the greatest advancements in our great industry. In this two-part article, the West Palm construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law are going to be looking at the women of the construction industry both past and present. For all of your construction-related legal needs, please turn to the talented West Palm construction attorneys at Cotney Construction Law.
The Women of Construction’s Past
Lilian Moller Gilbreth (1878-1972)
Lilian Gilbreth, an industrial psychologist and engineer, along with her husband, Frank Gilbreth, developed many industrial management techniques and principles. The development of these techniques led her to be dubbed “the mother of modern management.” She went on to work as an industrial engineer for General Electric, patent several inventions, consult for corporations, publish books, teach college courses, and advise presidents. Her focus on the human side of construction is something that many companies can still take to heart.
Edith Clarke (1883-1959)
Edith Clarke overcame a learning disability and the early deaths of her parents to change the way that we look at power networks. Following her graduation from MIT, Edith went on to invent the Clarke Calculator, which was used to solve electric power transmission line problems. She became the first female electrical engineer in 1923 and developed techniques that allowed for the analysis of power grids, an advancement that would directly lead to today’s smart grids.
Nora Stanton Blatch Barney (1883-1971)
Another first, Nora Stanton Blatch Barney was the first woman in the United States to obtain a degree in civil engineering and become a junior member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). She would go on to work as an assistant engineer, chief draftsman, architect, and developer while continuing her studies and fighting for women’s suffrage. She was posthumously made a full member of the ASCE in 2015.
The above women faced many hurdles that could have led to hostile and unsafe working conditions. No matter their gender, workers are always entitled to safe work environments. If you own a construction business, consult with a West Palm construction lawyer to ensure your jobsite is OSHA compliant.
To read more about notable women in the construction industry, read part two.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.