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Celebrating women in construction at Inspectional Services

March 7, 2019

Inspectional Services Department

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Inspectional Services

It’s Women in Construction Week! To celebrate, we want you to get to know some of the women behind our Building Division Staff.

Women play a key role in overseeing major projects throughout the City. The building and trade industry is often believed to be a male-dominated field. But, more and more women are pushing through barriers and pursuing careers in construction.  

At present, Inspectional Services has more than 30 women employed in the Building and Structures Division.  They currently hold key positions within the department, including:

  • Assistant Commissioner
  • Building Supervisor
  • Permit Supervisor
  • Plans Examiner
  • Inspector, and
  • Administrative Support Staff.

These workers are well versed in building, zoning, and sanitary codes, as well as City ordinances.  They inspect everything from one-, two-, and three-story structures to high-rise buildings over 700 feet.  They read plans, research historical data, and certify the legal use of a building. They also ensure that proposed projects meet all requirements before we issue permits.  It’s their job to ensure structures are safe and conform to all applicable codes.

As the number of women in construction continues to rise, so will the number of women employed in our Building Division.  

We’ve highlighted some of the women who lead the way on our construction team below:

Ann Milito, Building Inspector

Ann has more than 20 years of experience in the construction and trade industry. As a building official, she’s responsible for ensuring structures are safe and code compliant. Ann went into the construction field as a way to support her family. She got her construction supervisors license and began developing new homes throughout the North East.  

What advice does Ann have for women who are interested in construction?
Never give up! She says not to let the fact that construction is a male-dominated field distract you from reaching your goal. As the only woman working on a project, Ann said she remembers feeling intimidated. But, she also remembers the joy she felt when looking at a project she helped complete.

 

Michelle Flowers, Building Division

Michelle has a passion for carpentry and joined the Carpenters Union in 1996. She’s taught OSHA Safety Guidelines and volunteered as a mentor for the Women and Building in Trades Committee. She has also presented at the Carpenter Apprenticeship Program.

Michelle says she entered the construction field after becoming a young mother. She decided that she needed to figure out what she wanted to do with her life, fast. She says she knew she wanted independence, and that led her to the construction field. Not only were the hours, pay, and benefits great, but she says the feeling of building something by hand that people can live, work, or eat at was amazing.

What advice does Michelle have for women who are interested in construction?
If you like to work with your hands, want a career that is rewarding and has great benefits, then carpentry may be for you. Find your passion and go for it.