Women in Construction Week 2024: Insights from Lauren Smyk

Women in Construction Week 2024: Insights from Lauren Smyk

Welcome to Women in Construction Week 2024! As we celebrate the remarkable achievements of women in the construction industry, we're thrilled to kick off this special week by spotlighting the incredible women of Jamerson-Lewis Construction. Today, we met with Lauren Smyk, Assistant Project Manager and Director of I.T., to discuss her perspective on navigating the construction industry as a woman.


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: I have learned how I must have different styles of communication to effectively work with the many groups of people in this field. We work daily with architects, engineers, owners, and subcontractors of all levels. You learn how they think and how to communicate with them in a way that is respected as well as understood.

Q: Reflecting on your experiences, what's one piece of advice you wish you had received when you were just starting out in your career?
A: You never know it all! We are ever evolving and always learning. Change is always occurring, and new exciting things are always developing in the construction industry. If you’re not able to adjust and grow, you will be left behind.

Q: How do you personally approach sustainability and environmental considerations in your construction projects, and how do you see this aspect evolving in the future?
A: Sustainability, LEED, VEES, are all prevalent things we are seeing in the industry. The more you stay educated, the better you are at fulfilling these tasks and seeing how important they are to the job, cost-effectiveness, and the environment.

Q: Can you 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: As a woman in construction, you're already facing the stigmas and challenges of a predominantly male-dominated industry. Overcoming these obstacles can be difficult, requiring you to earn the respect you deserve. Dealing with different personalities on the job site can also be challenging, but it's essential to approach these situations with professionalism, organization, and clear communication. I believe that as women, we often excel in these skills, which can be instrumental in resolving conflicts and finding alternative solutions that benefit everyone involved.

Q: What's the best part of being part of the Jamerson-Lewis Construction family? Is there something about the team or the atmosphere that you really love?
A: I have been a member of the JLC team for almost 10 years. They have become family, and I so appreciate the relationships I’ve formed, the growth as an employee they have allowed for me, and the education I have been given. I have been given opportunities that I was not offered elsewhere, and it's very much appreciated.

Q: Juggling work and personal life can be a handful. How do you manage to find that balance, and does Jamerson-Lewis help make it easier?
A: As a single mom of a special needs child, balancing work and family life can be challenging. However, JLC has always been understanding of my situation, treating me with kindness and offering help whenever possible. I feel blessed to work for a company that recognizes the challenges we face and values the sacrifices we make for our families.

Q: Have you ever had a moment at Jamerson-Lewis where your perspective as a woman brought something really cool or different to the table?
A: Absolutely! There's no question that men and women can often think differently and problem-solve differently. There have been many times that my understanding of a situation was different than someone else’s, and being able to offer my perspective and thoughts gives others a different way to look at it. I believe we all keep each other in check and often teach each other how to look at situations from all angles.

Q: If someone were thinking about joining Jamerson-Lewis Construction, what would you tell them based on your own experiences here?
A: It’s a wonderful place to work and grow in your career. We are always changing here, and that is exciting to be a part of. I'm lucky to have been given the opportunities I have and am looking forward to many more years of being on the JLC team.


From managing challenges on the job site to a healthy work-life balance, Lauren's experiences offer lessons and inspiration for us all. Check back here and follow our social media channels for more stories throughout Women in Construction Week 2024, as we continue to highlight the voices and achievements of women like Lauren who are shaping the future of construction.