Kiewit’s Women’s Construction Leadership Seminar (WCLS) has clearly grown from an event into a program since its creation almost a decade ago. WCLS is a gathering of young women majoring in construction and engineering fields meant to challenge and develop leadership skills, provide students with valuable experience and industry knowledge, and connect them with peers and industry leaders.
By all accounts, the WCLS is succeeding in its mandate to encourage women to consider careers in construction. Kimberly Jarvis, a civil engineering student and one of this year’s participants from St. John’s, Newfoundland, is the second in her family to attend the seminar. Her sister Meghan participated six years ago in Omaha while she was a civil engineering student — she is now working as a field engineer. According to Kimberly, “Having a woman like my sister as a role model, along with the women at Kiewit, encourages me to challenge myself.” About WCLS she said, “The seminar helped me see myself in construction because there were women from Kiewit who began their careers in field construction positions and worked their way up through the company.”
In conjunction with the annual seminars held in the U.S. and Canada, organizers are piloting a new 12 First Fridays program to engage Kiewit’s female leaders across diverse disciplines, markets and geographies. On the first Friday of every month, a Kiewit leader will host a single video conference with college level attendees who have either interned with Kiewit or attended past WCLS events. They’ll discuss their role in the industry, focus on a variety of leadership topics and hold a Q&A to engage students attending schools across North America.