The St. Louis chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction announced their annual golf tournament fundraiser, which benefits Construction in Education Programs.
Vice President of NAWIC Alyssa Ruff said the event is important to be able to partner with local institutions, and donate scholarship money to construction students, especially women. She said funds raised through these events go into partnering with local schools to provide scholarships and funding programs aimed at educating younger generations in construction.
“We want to see people that are excited about the growth and the development and the success of women in the construction field. In these roles that in the past many, many years, most people have seen as male lead roles: engineers, project managers, project coordinators, trades people, trades women and tradesmen,” Ruff said. “There's a lot of women in this industry … really driving a lot of the economic growth, and … a lot of new good ideas.”
Ruff said while their scholarships are geared towards female candidates, they have and do provide scholarships for male candidates as well. She said their focus is always about building up the younger generation in future construction roles that will lead the growth of the industry.
“We want people that see the value in having a younger generation, and especially women be involved in how important our voice truly is to the growth of our St. Louis construction industry,” Ruff said.
Lisa Smith, director of development of the School of Engineering said via email that SIUE is the only accredited Construction Management undergraduate program in Metro East and in 2021, the Engineering school has awarded more than $19,000 in scholarships to 18 different Construction Management students including the NAWIC scholarship.
“I think we're a logical choice for NAWIC when it comes to supporting women in construction management, because we are one of the only universities in the area that provides that program,” Smith said.
Smith said there are about 100 students enrolled in the program each year and approximately 10 percent of them are women. She also said this year the NAWIC scholarship, which is specific to women pursuing construction management, went to Paityn Jansen, a senior construction management major from Breese, Illinois, this year.
Paityn Jansen, said not only winning the NAWIC scholarship meant a lot to her, but also how she found out.
“It was …[Women in Construction Week], and during that week is when I received [the] notification … saying that I got the NAWIC scholarship. I thought it was kind of cool,” Jansen said, “I don't know if they did that on purpose or what … but it just made me feel kind of welcome.”
Jansen, whose love of buildings and architecture drew her to construction management, said it is important for women to be recognized in this field so that younger women know there is support.
“I remember being asked, ‘Why are you going into construction, you know you're going to have to deal with a lot of guys,’ … I know that, but I'm passionate about it, but to hear [the] negativity and I feel like there [are] some girls who may not have that mindset right away and they'll say, ‘I can’t do it,’” Jansen said. “I feel like having the word out there that, ‘No, we can do it,’ will help them not be steered away from what they're actually interested in.”
Ruff said the golf fundraiser, which is open to any age group, will be held from 7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 6 at the Forest Park Golf Course in St. Louis. Pricing for individual golfers is $150 and $600 for a team of four with options for add-ons from network lunches to beverage carts. Participants must register by July 30.
To register for the tournament, visit the event’s registration page at Eventbrite.