Women in Construction Technology

 

It’s Women in Construction Week 2023 and we’re shining the spotlight on some of the most talented female team members at STACK in Product, Engineering, and Design. This year’s theme of WIC Week is, ‘Many Paths, One Mission.’ It celebrates the different journeys women have taken toward the same goal: strengthening and amplifying the success of women in the construction industry. And these three women are doing just that! 

Allison Hunter

Senior Product Manager

Tell me about your journey to today. Did you have any exposure to software dev and/or construction growing up?  

Very little software dev – I won’t embarrass myself by mentioning the languages that I was exposed to. A tiny bit of construction – helping my dad or family friends with projects.  

Headshot of Allison Hunter, Senior Project Manager

What did you study in school or training?

My degree is in Architecture.

What jobs did you have leading up to STACK?

Did you face any obstacles breaking the boundaries in a maledominated industry?  

Yes. My first summer out of college, I wanted to work in a trade. I called and called and no one would even talk to me. I finally found one guy that was willing to give me a chance and it worked out well for the summer. The rest of the team was not impressed. They didn’t really want to work with a girl (lunchtime conversation centered around things like how to avoid child support…) so I inevitably ended up doing more solo jobs. Wall layout, cut person, finish carpenter’s assistant, etc.

My next job as a builder’s representative was interesting. I was sent out to answer questions on site and one guy looked at me skeptically and asked, “Can you read plans?” It was pretty insulting, so I just told him that I mainly drew them, but also read them. Once I proved myself in the field, however, I found that most people gave me a fair chance.

What kept you moving forward? What inspired you? 

I love construction – the idea of visualizing something, understanding it and putting it together in a way that it will be around for years. It’s the ultimate problem-solver’s dream. It’s satisfying to look at a building and know that it started as your ideas and now it will be around for generations.  

Did you have any female mentors?  

Not on the construction & architecture side, but definitely in software. One of my first Product Management leaders was terrific. She really encouraged all of us to grow and helped me personally to bridge the gap between the services side and PM.

What is your favorite part of working in Construction Tech? 

Construction is not easy. It’s an enormous and complex task to build one-off, life-size projects, while exposed to the elements, with a team that’s never worked together…all based on a paper diagram. We get to build tools that make contractors’ lives easier and better. I honestly think it’s fun, exciting, and gratifying to have the chance to impact someone’s day-to-day life in such a difficult industry. 

What would you say to the younger female generation interested in Construction Tech?  

If it interests you, go for it! If you are encountering challenges as a female, I would recommend getting into the details – learning everything you can so that, as you talk, you’re able to demonstrate that you’re knowledgeable and your viewpoints are based on a solid foundation. It will go a long way to boost your own confidence and to reinforce to others that you are authentically construction-minded. 

Where should someone start getting involved in Construction Tech?  

I’m a bit biased, I think! I would say to start in construction, if even for just a little bit – it will help you to learn the ‘why’ about construction tech at a level that will be incorporated into your thought process moving forward.  

All of my PM background has come from different job positions and on the job level training. I was fortunate enough to take Pragmatic Institute’s Marketing Build/Focus/Foundations courses and ScrumAlliance’s Certified Scrum Product Owner course, which were essential for me to change my mindset from building buildings to building software. If you’re interested in learning more about product management, those organizations have some solid resources. 

Headshot of Allison Hunter, Senior Project Manager

Allison Hunter

Senior Project Manager

What did you study in school or training?

Very little software dev – I won’t embarrass myself by mentioning the languages that I was exposed to. A tiny bit of construction – helping my dad or family friends with projects.  

What did you study in school or training?

My degree is in Architecture.    

What jobs did you have leading up to STACK?

Did you face any obstacles breaking the boundaries in a maledominated industry?  

Yes. My first summer out of college, I wanted to work in a trade. I called and called and no one would even talk to me. I finally found one guy that was willing to give me a chance and it worked out well for the summer. The rest of the team was not impressed. They didn’t really want to work with a girl (lunchtime conversation centered around things like how to avoid child support…) so I inevitably ended up doing more solo jobs. Wall layout, cut person, finish carpenter’s assistant, etc.

My next job as a builder’s representative was interesting. I was sent out to answer questions on site and one guy looked at me skeptically and asked, “Can you read plans?” It was pretty insulting, so I just told him that I mainly drew them, but also read them. Once I proved myself in the field, however, I found that most people gave me a fair chance.

What kept you moving forward? What inspired you? 

I love construction – the idea of visualizing something, understanding it and putting it together in a way that it will be around for years. It’s the ultimate problem-solver’s dream. It’s satisfying to look at a building and know that it started as your ideas and now it will be around for generations.  

Did you have any female mentors?  

Not on the construction & architecture side, but definitely in software. One of my first Product Management leaders was terrific. She really encouraged all of us to grow and helped me personally to bridge the gap between the services side and PM

What is your favorite part of working in Construction Tech? 

Construction is not easy. It’s an enormous and complex task to build one-off, life-size projects, while exposed to the elements, with a team that’s never worked together…all based on a paper diagram. We get to build tools that make contractors’ lives easier and better. I honestly think it’s fun, exciting, and gratifying to have the chance to impact someone’s day-to-day life in such a difficult industry. 

What would you say to the younger female generation interested in Construction Tech?  

If it interests you, go for it! If you are encountering challenges as a female, I would recommend getting into the details – learning everything you can so that, as you talk, you’re able to demonstrate that you’re knowledgeable and your viewpoints are based on a solid foundation. It will go a long way to boost your own confidence and to reinforce to others that you are authentically construction-minded. 

Where should someone start getting involved in Construction Tech?  

I’m a bit biased, I think! I would say to start in construction, if even for just a little bit – it will help you to learn the ‘why’ about construction tech at a level that will be incorporated into your thought process moving forward.  

All of my PM background has come from different job positions and on the job level training. I was fortunate enough to take Pragmatic Institute’s Marketing Build/Focus/Foundations courses and ScrumAlliance’s Certified Scrum Product Owner course, which were essential for me to change my mindset from building buildings to building software. If you’re interested in learning more about product management, those organizations have some solid resources. 

Cady Wullenweber

Junior Software Engineer

Tell me about your journey to today. Did you have any exposure to software dev and/or construction growing up?  

I did not, but I wish I had! When I started working at STACK it was the first time I had ever heard of the job title Software Developer. This was also the first time I had ever heard of Construction Technology.

Cady Wullenweber, Junior Software Engineer

What did you study in school or training?

I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology. Once I realized I wanted to pursue Software Development, I completed a bootcamp at MAX Technical Training. I successfully completed their full stack Maximum Coding camp where I learned both C#/.Net and Java, SQL, and various front-end web technologies like html, css, javascript, and angular.

What jobs did you have leading up to STACK?

Administrative and Human Resources positions. I decided to take a totally new path that would challenge me in different ways and help me continue to grow both personally and professionally.

Did you face any obstacles breaking the boundaries in a maledominated industry?  

The only obstacle for me personally was that I wish I would have known about Software Development much sooner in my life. Once I was aware of how attainable it was, especially at this point in my career and without a BA in Computer Science, I was determined to make it happen.

What kept you moving forward? What inspired you? 

Many things. My curiosity for coding and the topics, my love for learning and growing, and my support system. I was first really inspired when I went to a career fair with STACK in my HR role. I started hearing our Developers talk about our tech stack and the languages we use. It completely sparked my interest and from there I decided to do my own research. I wanted to be able to “talk the dev talk” and “walk the dev walk.” 😊

What is your favorite part of working in Construction Tech? 

I absolutely love watching how the code transforms our software into something that really helps our customers. I also really enjoy investigating any bugs that arise and learning any new technologies involved in Software Development.

What would you say to the younger female generation interested in Construction Tech?  

You can absolutely do it! You don’t have to do it alone either. There are lots of online and local dev groups/communities that you can become a part of. Finding a mentor that is willing to help guide you can be really helpful as well. Don’t let the maledominated part scare you. My team is all men, and they are some of my biggest cheerleaders.

Where should someone start getting involved in Construction Tech?  

I’m biased but checking out STACKs platform is a first step. It is such a cool software and there are lots of free videos and articles you can look at to see what kind of work we do. As for getting involved in Software Development, there are so many ways to get involved. There are local and online meetups that you can attend, free online resources, conferences, and following Developers and tech groups on LinkedIn.

Cady Wullenweber, Junior Software Engineer

Cady Wullenweber

Junior Software Engineer

Tell me about your journey to today. Did you have any exposure to software dev and/or construction growing up?  

I did not, but I wish I had! When I started working at STACK it was the first time I had ever heard of the job title Software Developer. This was also the first time I had ever heard of Construction Technology.

What did you study in school or training?

I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology. Once I realized I wanted to pursue Software Development, I completed a bootcamp at MAX Technical Training. I successfully completed their full stack Maximum Coding camp where I learned both C#/.Net and Java, SQL, and various front-end web technologies like html, css, javascript, and angular.

What jobs did you have leading up to STACK?

Administrative and Human Resources positions. I decided to take a totally new path that would challenge me in different ways and help me continue to grow both personally and professionally.

Did you face any obstacles breaking the boundaries in a maledominated industry?  

The only obstacle for me personally was that I wish I would have known about Software Development much sooner in my life. Once I was aware of how attainable it was, especially at this point in my career and without a BA in Computer Science, I was determined to make it happen.

What kept you moving forward? What inspired you? 

Many things. My curiosity for coding and the topics, my love for learning and growing, and my support system. I was first really inspired when I went to a career fair with STACK in my HR role. I started hearing our Developers talk about our tech stack and the languages we use. It completely sparked my interest and from there I decided to do my own research. I wanted to be able to “talk the dev talk” and “walk the dev walk.” 😊

What is your favorite part of working in Construction Tech? 

I absolutely love watching how the code transforms our software into something that really helps our customers. I also really enjoy investigating any bugs that arise and learning any new technologies involved in Software Development.

What would you say to the younger female generation interested in Construction Tech?  

You can absolutely do it! You don’t have to do it alone either. There are lots of online and local dev groups/communities that you can become a part of. Finding a mentor that is willing to help guide you can be really helpful as well. Don’t let the maledominated part scare you. My team is all men, and they are some of my biggest cheerleaders.

Where should someone start getting involved in Construction Tech?  

I’m biased but checking out STACKs platform is a first step. It is such a cool software and there are lots of free videos and articles you can look at to see what kind of work we do. As for getting involved in Software Development, there are so many ways to get involved. There are local and online meetups that you can attend, free online resources, conferences, and following Developers and tech groups on LinkedIn.

Mariana Ianovska

UI/UX Designer

Tell me about your journey to today. Did you have any exposure to software dev and/or construction growing up?  

In my childhood, I was always interested in drawing, sketching, and architecture. During my university years, I traveled throughout Europe, parts of Asia, and North and South America in search of incredible architecture from different countries and continents. I tried to see it with my own eyes, attempting to understand and analyze humanity’s achievements. 

Mariana Ianovska, UI/UX Designer

I was interested not only in ancient – incredible structures like those in Ancient Greece, Machu Picchu in Peru, Tikal in Guatemala, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and Borobudur in Indonesia – but also in modern, incredible human-built structures.    

The first place I visited abroad was the Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world. I was amazed by the incredible possibilities of modern architectural design. In general, the innovative architecture of the young cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi impressed me very much. Sometimes I just went to construction areas, asking to go up inside or to the rooftop, moving through the stairs and passages of these unfinished buildings, and taking photos. I visited Scandinavia in search of modern, minimalist, comfortable architectural designs, and I’m also interested in the new trend of self-sufficient, environmentally friendly homes. 

What did you study in school or training?

While my education background is far from construction, it is close to design. After graduating from university, I earned a degree in publishing and editing. I worked for some time in the field of graphic design, advertising, and print media. As technology advances and businesses move from print to web, this trend will soon change.  

Consequently, I completed several courses and obtained certificates in Web Development, User Experience, and UI Design. I became fascinated by user experience research. The world will become a better place if we take this direction. Real life is shaped by the information world. 

What kind of work did you have before STACK?

In most of my professional experiences, I have worked with large amounts of data and software. These were SaaS systems, administrative panels for the finance, business, and education sectors, eCommerce websites, mobile applications, and self-service terminal applications.

Have you encountered any obstacles that break down barriers in an industry dominated by men? 

You know, never. I have been working in a predominantly male team for a long time. Typically, the overwhelming majority in IT are men (Developers, Software Engineers, QA, Project Managers, Owners). Although lately, I feel the industry is becoming more balanced. In the fields where I worked, there were not many women only 20-30%. Communication in a male team has always been pleasant, respectful, and full of help and new skills. I believe that both men and women are necessary in any development. We complement each other perfectly and work as a real team covering different sectors where we are big experts.

What kept you moving forward? What inspired you? 

The results of the work we have done, positive user feedback, and new projects.

Have you had female mentors?

The majority of my supervisors and project managers were men. However, I hadn’t thought about it before this question (haha). I have worked with outstanding female Software Engineers, Developers, UX Designers, and UX Researchers. By sharing our experiences and helping each other, we were able to grow together.

What is your favorite part of working in Construction Tech? 

My goal is to make the process of managing, editing and creating projects, outputting data, and working with large volumes of construction business more convenient, intuitive, and enjoyable. It is important to me to improve existing software so that it is easy to use for anyone, regardless of gender.

What would you say to the younger female generation interested in Construction Tech?  

Business sectors should not be divided by gender, according to me. You should do what you love and what interests you! There are no boundaries outside of our heads.

Where should someone start getting involved in Construction Tech?  

I think this is an individual question. Everyone comes to construction in their own way. Sometimes family has a connection and you can better understand the processes and needs of the industry. And because of this you know better how to improve it. 

After moving to the U.S., my path intersected with my husband’s business (he is engaged in roofing construction). I often helped him in buying materials for roofing, so I began to understand how estimates are built. I visited jobsites with him, and I know the process of measuring new roofs, estimating, and working with a lot of data. I made special videos of the roof replacement process for his website and understood more. 

This is also a good solution for everyone who has always been interested in architecture and construction. Or for someone who has a similar specialized education. You need to do what inspires you and look for interesting directions and projects. 

Mariana Ianovska, UI/UX Designer

Mariana Ianovska

UI/UX Designer

Tell me about your journey to today. Did you have any exposure to software dev and/or construction growing up?  

In my childhood, I was always interested in drawing, sketching, and architecture. During my university years, I traveled throughout Europe, parts of Asia, and North and South America in search of incredible architecture from different countries and continents. I tried to see it with my own eyes, attempting to understand and analyze humanity’s achievements. I was interested not only in ancient – incredible structures like those in Ancient Greece, Machu Picchu in Peru, Tikal in Guatemala, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and Borobudur in Indonesia – but also in modern, incredible human-built structures.  

The first place I visited abroad was the Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world. I was amazed by the incredible possibilities of modern architectural design. In general, the innovative architecture of the young cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi impressed me very much. Sometimes I just went to construction areas, asking to go up inside or to the rooftop, moving through the stairs and passages of these unfinished buildings, and taking photos. I visited Scandinavia in search of modern, minimalist, comfortable architectural designs, and I’m also interested in the new trend of self-sufficient, environmentally friendly homes. 

What did you study in school or training?

While my education background is far from construction, it is close to design. After graduating from university, I earned a degree in publishing and editing. I worked for some time in the field of graphic design, advertising, and print media. As technology advances and businesses move from print to web, this trend will soon change.  

Consequently, I completed several courses and obtained certificates in Web Development, User Experience, and UI Design. I became fascinated by user experience research. The world will become a better place if we take this direction. Real life is shaped by the information world. 

What kind of work did you have before STACK?

In most of my professional experiences, I have worked with large amounts of data and software. These were SaaS systems, administrative panels for the finance, business, and education sectors, eCommerce websites, mobile applications, and self-service terminal applications.

Have you encountered any obstacles that break down barriers in an industry dominated by men?

You know, never. I have been working in a predominantly male team for a long time. Typically, the overwhelming majority in IT are men (Developers, Software Engineers, QA, Project Managers, Owners). Although lately, I feel the industry is becoming more balanced. In the fields where I worked, there were not many women only 20-30%. Communication in a male team has always been pleasant, respectful, and full of help and new skills. I believe that both men and women are necessary in any development. We complement each other perfectly and work as a real team covering different sectors where we are big experts.

What kept you moving forward? What inspired you? 

The results of the work we have done, positive user feedback, and new projects.

Have you had female mentors?

The majority of my supervisors and project managers were men. However, I hadn’t thought about it before this question (haha). I have worked with outstanding female Software Engineers, Developers, UX Designers, and UX Researchers. By sharing our experiences and helping each other, we were able to grow together.

What do you enjoy most about working in Construction Tech?

My goal is to make the process of managing, editing and creating projects, outputting data, and working with large volumes of construction business more convenient, intuitive, and enjoyable. It is important to me to improve existing software so that it is easy to use for anyone, regardless of gender.

What would you say to the younger female generation interested in Construction Tech?  

Business sectors should not be divided by gender, according to me. You should do what you love and what interests you! There are no boundaries outside of our heads.

Where should someone start getting involved in Construction Tech?  

I think this is an individual question. Everyone comes to construction in their own way. Sometimes family has a connection and you can better understand the processes and needs of the industry. And because of this you know better how to improve it. 

After moving to the U.S., my path intersected with my husband’s business (he is engaged in roofing construction). I often helped him in buying materials for roofing, so I began to understand how estimates are built. I visited jobsites with him, and I know the process of measuring new roofs, estimating, and working with a lot of data. I made special videos of the roof replacement process for his website and understood more. 

This is also a good solution for everyone who has always been interested in architecture and construction. Or for someone who has a similar specialized education. You need to do what inspires you and look for interesting directions and projects. 

Want to join our amazing team? Apply today!

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