Breaking Barriers: Women in Construction

Raleigh, NC -- The number of women working in construction is very small, but the promising sign for some people is that the sector is growing.

According to the latest nationwide statistics, women now make up almost 10 percent of the industry and there were more than 1.1 million female workers in 2018.

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A new Raleigh apartment is celebrating a win after employing more than 65 women for construction work.

There was representation in nearly every trade at the Trilogy Apartments building in Village District.

"It was amazing, an immense amount of pride on having so many women. I didn't feel like I was isolated," said Samet Field Engineer Cheryl Casatelli. "It's just showing the guys that I can do this. It's showing you have the capabilities, the knowledge, and then the drive and initiative to do. I think that made my job a lot easier."

Karina Arredondo worked on drywalling, painting and cleaning up the property.

"I felt really comfortable because there is a lot of women in here with us," she said.

It was different from when she started out in the industry more than 10 years ago. She was mostly surrounded by inquisitive men.

"A lot of questions like 'why? whatcha doing here?" Arredondo recalled.

Trilogy was built by Samet Corp.

The company it was committed to not only construct great properties but also to build up women and inspire others.

"Women have a lot to offer, and we have often discounted them not only in our industry but a lot of industries," said Samet Director of Corporation Social Responsibility Ilina Ewen.

"If I can encourage at least one little girl to be what I'm at right now, then I think my job is done," Casatelli said. "It's showing girls that 'you know what, we can do this.' It's not just for guys. It's inclusive and girls are accepted,"
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