UNC Health Surgical Tower construction site recognizes International Women's Day

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- About 40 people wearing construction hats at the UNC Health Surgical Tower site are women trailblazing the industry.

"You see women working, you see women behind the desk, you see women coordinating getting schedules and things like that. Just the progression as I've grown up watching it is just phenomenal. I'm excited about everything women are doing in construction," said Cleopatrice Robinson, project manager.

Robinson said this industry has always been a part of her life.

"My grandfather was a brick mason so I would say construction is in my bones. I've seen it ever since I was little," Robinson said.

About 10% of the construction workforce is female, according to recent data. About 15% of the workers on this massive tower-which includes 26 operating rooms and 80 ICU beds--are women.

"I think over the last several years it's really been growing. We've seen a lot more women in the field. And it's normal now. It's not unheard of," said Rachel Rockett, project manager.

Rockett said it's rewarding work and in the end you get to see the fruits of your labor.

"Construction is cool. You get to build cool stuff like hospitals and train stations. Everything needs to get built and we can have an impact in making that happen," Rockett said.

The tower is expected to be complete by late 2023. Patients will be welcomed into the building by 2024.
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