You won’t get anywhere unless you make the effort to move.
Milena Manus started college in her native Brazil with little idea of what her future truly had in store. She was introduced to sustainability and renewable energy in college as solar and wind energy were integrated with agriculture for irrigation and to help keep the cost of electricity low.
“But I never thought about working in North America. That’s why I’m so proud of where I am today. I’m glad Blattner gave me an opportunity three years ago,” Manus said.
Blattner Company, a Quanta Services company, and the parent company of DH Blattner & Sons, is celebrating Women In Construction Week by highlighting the work of our employees in the field like Milena who are on the front lines of the energy revolution.
March is also Women’s History Month, and Blattner has announced its Women’s Employee Resource Group. So, it’s just another reason to help raise awareness about the importance of women in the renewable energy industry while emphasizing the growing role that they play.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women comprise nearly 11 percent of all construction professionals and account for only one out of every 100 employees in the field. That’s why this year’s Women In Construction Week is such an important time to attract more women to the industry.
Let’s get to know some of the women at DH Blattner & Sons who are changing the mindset that construction and renewable energy construction are a male-dominated industry.
Manus is looking forward to becoming a project coordinator soon. She will have to get to know more about contract laws, county requirements and project scheduling.
But she’s more than up to the task. At her current site in California with DH Blattner & Sons, she starts her day at the management pod and then joins a daily meeting with the civil engineers, foreman and general foreman. The team always prioritizes safety, and they go over the goals for the day.
Right after that, it’s off to the field to meet with the crew about safety and quality and to ensure they have the tools and materials available to them for the day. Then, it’s back to the office for her daily office work. When she’s done there, it’s back to the field to check on the production for the day.
“The feeling of pride that I get working in renewable energy construction is exciting,” Manus said. “We’re building a sustainable future not only for the communities we’re in, but for the planet.”
No matter if you’re a man or a woman in construction, you must be prepared for challenges, hard work and being able to sit at the table with your peers and co-workers.
But Chanda Lytton would like to clear up one common misconception about construction jobs.
“You have don’t have to be ‘one of the guys,” she said. “Be yourself. That’s how you’ll be a successful woman in this industry. You bring valuable perspective and expertise, so don’t change who you are to mold to a male-dominated industry.”
Lytton is a senior project manager in operations for Blattner. She’s been with the company since 2001, when she started as a field construction coordinator for the reconstruction of the Cody, Wyoming, airport runway.
Lytton’s roles have progressed from there to superintendent, site manager, project manager, manager of construction – solar and now senior project manager. No matter where she’s been, she’s just excited to work with her colleagues every day.
“Working and helping develop a talented group of employees that want to consistently improve and build a successful project is truly satisfying,” Lytton said. “Their professional and personal growth over a project is a very fulfilling part of my role at Blattner.”
Lytton wants to continue to grow her knowledge in battery energy storage while continuing to develop her skillset as a successful project manager and leader.
“This is a fast-paced, ever-evolving industry,” Lytton said. “Yes, it poses challenges, but it has offered me immense growth opportunity. The growth of my career at Blattner has been truly satisfying.”