Engineering students Alea Cooper and Erin Bereyso attended the third annual Women in Construction and Engineering Leadership Seminar (WCELS) Feb. 20-21 in Omaha, Nebraska.
About their experience
The seminar featured female employees of Kiewit Corporation as speakers.
The speakers addressed the lack of female presence in the construction and engineering fields.
“We learned that women make up less than 10% of the construction workforce, which makes it our duty to increase diversity in the industry and provide our perspective,” Bereyso said.
The speakers also encouraged the female students who attended the seminar to have confidence in their own abilities by describing the unique strengths women can bring to the male-dominated fields.
“The best part was seeing a panel of successful women that exuded confidence and had succeeded by being themselves and capitalizing on their strengths,” Cooper said.
Following their presentations, the speakers participated in a discussion panel so the students could voice their questions and concerns about the career paths ahead of them.
“All of the women that spoke were authentic and gave genuine answers of accomplishments and failures that they had faced in their careers,” Cooper said.
The speakers’ responses covered multiple aspects of their careers, including how they managed to balance their professional and personal lives.
“It was empowering to speak with women about how they achieve success in their careers and professional lives while maintaining a family life and having children,” Bereyso said.
Sanjay Tewari of the cooperative engineering program nominated Cooper and Bereyso to attend the seminar.
About the seminar
WCELS welcomed more than seventy female students from universities across the United States and Canada as participants.
The seminar served to develop the collegiate women’s leadership skills and provided participants with the industry knowledge needed to drive their passion and potential for success.
About Kiewit Corporation
Kiewit Corporation serves as one of the largest engineering and construction organizations in North America.
The organization has provided female students in engineering and construction-focused majors with internships and full-time positions.