Women in Construction: Kaye Couturier
It’s National Women in Construction Week, and we’re highlighting women here at Sellen to ask about their experience in the industry, what they enjoy most about their roles and advice for the next generation. First up, Estimator Kaye Couturier, who has been with Sellen for 18 years. Read below to hear more about her experience in the industry.
How did you get involved in the construction industry?
My entire adult career has involved some aspect of construction. I started in the industry by managing real estate owned (REO) properties for a savings and loan company. Once a property was foreclosed on, it was my job to determine what, if any, work was necessary to complete before placing the house on the market. That is what started my interest in real estate, but blossomed my interest in construction—I just didn’t know it at the time.
From there, I went into property management. Then one day I answered a temp job request for a site secretary position with Sellen and found my way into a career that is now some 18 or so years long.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The people, and being able to see the product once it’s completed and being able to say I had even a small part in making it happen. As an estimator, I’m not involved in a project for long before I’m moving on to the next one. But I am very aware of what the project is, what is to become of it and how it is going to get there. Seeing something on a piece of paper develop into a living and working space that started out as just an idea in someone’s mind is incredible. Truly though there are so many rewarding aspects to the job that it is hard to pick just one.
What do you enjoy most about working for Sellen?
This is easy for me. Since day one, I learned that no matter who you ask at Sellen, “What time is it?”, you are more likely to learn how to build the watch than find out the time. It is quite simply an environment for learning—a place where you are treated with respect and kindness, much like a family.
I started as a site secretary and have worked my way to estimator, and there are many others that have done the same. It’s an environment that cultivates and appreciates the need and desire to learn. Plus, where can you get all of that and work with so many smart and talented people to build something? It’s a win-win.
What’s your advice for the next generation of women in construction?
Like anything in life, you get what you put into it. There’s a reason you have a seat at the table. Speak up.