Women in Construction Week 2024: Insights from Gretchen Sheppard

Women in Construction Week 2024: Insights from Gretchen Sheppard

This week, we're excited to highlight the amazing women who make a difference in our industry. Today, let's meet Gretchen Sheppard, one of our Project Manager Assistants at Jamerson-Lewis. Gretchen has been in the industry for nine years! Balancing work with being a mom to her two young daughters, she shows the determination of women in our field.

Q: Can you share a bit about your journey into the construction industry? Any unexpected twists or memorable moments along the way?
A: I've been in construction for 9 years! The company I previously worked for unexpectedly closed. Then, William Cook, our President, reached out and asked me to come in for an interview. I started at Jamerson-Lewis the very next week. That was 4 years ago now, and it's interesting how things lined up—I joined right at the beginning of the pandemic.

Q: Tell us about a time when you had to navigate a particularly challenging situation on a construction site, and how you managed to overcome it.
A: Challenges are a part of daily life on construction sites. There are always challenges, particularly with technology on construction sites due to the many programs and systems we use, along with those used by owners and architects. Staying updated and proficient in navigating our technology is crucial!


Q: What advice would you give to other women aspiring to pursue a career in construction?
A: Be confident! Even though it's a male-dominated industry, your ideas and opinions are valuable. Don't hesitate to ask questions to gain knowledge. It's perfectly fine to admit when you don't know something and say, 'I don't know, but I'll find out!'.


Q: Balancing work and personal life can be tough in any industry. How do you manage to find that balance amidst the demands of construction projects?
A: At Jamerson-Lewis, we have a strong family-oriented culture. Finding a balance between work and personal life can be challenging, but having the support of an incredible team makes it easier! I appreciate how welcoming it is for families. My two young daughters love visiting me at work, which really speaks to the company's commitment to supporting its employees in both their professional and personal lives.


Q: Looking ahead, where do you see the role of women fitting into the future of Jamerson-Lewis Construction?
A: Honestly, I see women playing key roles across all departments at Jamerson-Lewis in the future. Whether it's in Estimating, Project Management, Field Operations, or Administration, I believe there will be plenty of opportunities for women to thrive!


Q: What's the most unexpected lesson you've learned during your time in the construction industry, and how has it influenced your approach to your work?
A: In my experience in the construction industry, I've learned that teamwork is crucial. No project can be completed by one person alone, and no task should be underestimated, regardless of its size. Effective communication among all parties is key as it helps bring a shared understanding of our mutual goals, resulting in a quality-driven and successful outcome.


We want to give a big thank you to Gretchen Sheppard and all the amazing women who make Jamerson-Lewis Construction what it is. Check back here and follow our social media channels for more stories throughout Women in Construction Week 2024!